Many people have heard about the buzzword that is Internet of Things (IoT), but they are not certain what this technology is all about.

Even though IoT is a broad topic that covers a huge amount of information, in simple terms, it can be defined as physical objects that are connected to the internet that have the ability to identify themselves to other devices. In addition, they may be able to sense, communicate, network and produce new information, and consequently become a part of the internet.

We examine some of the leading trends that are driven by IoT technologies:

Smart Homes

IoT has entered our living spaces with digital technologies that can turn a household into a state-of-the-art facility, designed to make our lives simple and convenient. Smart homes are characterised by internet connected devices that enable homeowners to control and monitor appliances and systems such as lighting, heating and home security systems.

Smart home applications now allow users to monitor their homes remotely and receive alerts if there is a problem. One of the benefits of smart homes is that you’re able to reduce energy consumption, and ultimately lower utility bills as you will be notified when there is any energy waste.

Connected Cars

The automotive industry is one of the biggest sectors that is embracing IoT technologies to enhance the overall car experience. Connected cars are able to optimise their operation and maintenance using the internet and onboard sensors.

Connected cars are expected to form a large part of the Internet of Things network with autonomous vehicles slowly becoming a reality. The success of self-driving cars hinges on IoT as they need a connected infrastructure and advancement of other technologies for reliability.

Smart Cities

Cities across the world are adopting IoT technologies to become smart cities that use information and communication technologies to improve the quality of their public services for citizens.

In a push for sustainable development and energy conservation, IoT-powered smart sensors can be used to control and dim street lights when there are no cars or pedestrians.

Smart grid technologies are being utilized by power utilities to improve the supply and maintenance of electricity supply and monitor energy outages.

Industrial Internet of Things

Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is seen as an extension of the Internet of Things with added focus on machine-to-machine communication, big data and machine learning. IIoT enables manufacturing companies to improve efficiency and productivity across their industrial processes. The data that is produced by IoT sensors is turned into intelligent business information through machine learning technologies.

The consistent capturing and transmitting of data among smart devices and machines provide industries and enterprises with many growth opportunities, creating an efficient supply chain that ultimately brings customer satisfaction.

Wearables

Wearable IoT devices are on the rise, with companies such as Google, Samsung, and Apple investing in building them. The health and fitness industries are leveraging this technology to collect data and use it to improve the lives of people.

The drive behind wearable devices stems from that they are the most convenient tools to collect health data, monitoring and interacting with users on the go. This makes them a technology that is likely to increase life expectancy and improve the quality of life.

Final Thoughts

With the Fourth Industrial Revolution gaining momentum, there is no doubt that IoT technologies are bridging the gap between the physical and digital world. Facilitating a significant improvement in quality and productivity in our society thus, both in people’s everyday lives and in the business world. IoT-powered technologies are driving innovation, creating opportunities for disruption and those who are left behind risk becoming irrelevant.

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