Internet of Things (IoT) is already impacting working and living environments with exciting trends. It has come a long way and 2017 looks promising for tweaked and heightened possibilities. Technology continues to make mass production cheaper, almost every electronic device is built to be wi-fi ready and close to half of the world’s population now have access to the internet, compared to just 20% in 2007. As broadband internet becomes cheaper to connect and use, it is only fair to expect a tsunami of IoT from 2017. The concept of IoT is to connect every powered device to the internet; once it can be turned on and off, why not hook it up to the internet?
Imagine your alarm waking you up at 6:30 am and sending an instruction to your water heater to warm your bath water, and your coffee maker to start brewing. Imagine if your car could communicate parts which are due to be changed to a supplier and automatically schedule a date for replacement after interacting with your calendar to know when you will have the time. What about the possibility to have your printer place an order online for new supplies of paper and cartridges … the possibilities are endless. The kitchen is one area in the house where IoT can be optimize for efficiency to reduce waste and power consumption and this year will see a lot of focus accordingly.
Last year provided the opportunity for companies to build devices ready to take advantage of the IoT concept. CES 2016 showcased most of those devices; as the big companies and the known brands were flexing muscles, startups were also showcasing what the big companies were overlooking. Now there is internet and its penetration is unstoppable; let everything that can be connected be connected now! Apple and Google launched home products last year to connect lights, locks, thermostats and other home devices to the internet to enable them to be seamlessly controlled even away from home.
With the seamless connection of everyday useful items to the internet comes the concern on security and hacking. Last year, IoT took a nervous hit when reports suggested that Dyn, a cloud based internet performance management company which provides services to companies like Twitter and Netflix, was attacked. It was believed by experts that the attack was caused by Mirai bot, which scouted the internet for IoT devices with default usernames and passwords, using them for the attack. This partly prompted the release of the security framework of Industrial Internet Consortium. Hackers will not backdown on their malicious activities, but security will also be continually heightened. Nevertheless, a major security breach is probably just a click away.
IoT will not be limited to homes, offices and cars this year. Cities will also work effortlessly to have transportation, traffic, waste and energy management all coordinated with IoT. Q4 last year saw a lot of work to bring artificial intelligence to mobile. IoT will tap into those possibilities as well. Strategic alliances and collaborations will also be made by small and medium scale organizations to produce low cost items to increase patronage of IoT ready devices. This will ultimately set the right tone for a much bigger wave next year.