It’s been five years since the Internet of Things (IoT) became such a popular concept, one that has taken the world by storm. Gartner projects that there will have been 4.9 billion connected things by the end of 2015, up by 30% from a year earlier. By 2020, there will be 26 billion “things” connected to the internet. The Internet of Things has become a powerful transformational force, one with an enormous disruptive impact, which is felt across multiple industries.
As Jim Tully, vice president and top analyst at Gartner, says, “The digital shift instigated by the Nexus of Forces (cloud, mobile, social and information), and boosted by IoT, threatens many existing businesses. They have no choice but to pursue IoT, like they’ve done with the consumerization of IT.”
So what are the top Internet of Things opportunities out there? According to Gartner, there will be a total of $70 billion spent on IoT devices in 2015 and as much as $265 billion by 2020- which is huge. Where will this money be spent on?
While connected home devices will be more popular than ever, a majority of the connected devices will be bought by the industry, not by homeowners. The industry will account for over 85% of all things in the Internet of Things. The automobile industry will show the highest growth rate in the use of connected devices, close to 96%.
Here are the top Internet of Things opportunities that you should take a good, hard look at.
Watches – specifically smartwatches – present the easiest and the most obvious IoT opportunities. Smartwatches are an extension of the smartphone and are worn on the wrist. They are with you always and display content at any time or situation of your choice. Smartwatches do a lot more than just give you the time – they monitor your BP, check the number of miles run by you in the morning, notify you about the latest emails and text messages and more. We have covered smartwatches extensively on our sister site TechSpecie.com. Do have a look here, here and here.
Smart lights or remote controlled lighting solutions are real and effective. They illuminate the room the moment you walk into it and give hues of different colors depending on the occasion and mood. They are switched on automatically when you enter the house and turned off as soon as you leave your home. You can control them remotely using an app on your smartphone. They offer ambient lighting and use color to create immersive environments.
Smart refrigerators display what’s inside the fridge on your smartphone wherever you are in the world, so you will know on your way home from the office about what’s there in the fridge already and what else you need to buy from the market to prepare a wholesome and healthy meal. Smart fridges notify you when you are out of eggs or milk. They offer an enormous amount of data to marketers about consumer habits, which can be valuable to them.
Smart TVs are essentially TVs that are connected to the internet. Smart TVs are a relatively new concept by have already caught the imagination of the public – over 12% of the TVs sold last year in the United States were smart TV boxes such as Apple TV, Rocu, Chromecast and Amazon Fire. Eventually, Smart TVs are expected to replace cable TV entirely.
As said earlier, the automobile industry has been the fastest to latch on to the concept of Internet of Things. Today, almost every car made by a top manufacturer is connected in some way or another. Cars are becoming smarter than ever before, none more so than the amazing Google Self-Driving Car. This offers a whole range of possibilities such as preparing the car for use even before starting the engine, which can really be a useful feature to have during winter. This opens up a lot of great opportunities for marketers as smart cars collect can data from the internet and sync with roadside billboards to display personalized messages.
Raghav Hegde, Bangalore
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