The Internet of Things (IoT) is this pretty fantastic idea of a globally interconnected continuum of devices, objects and things in general. Perhaps it only seemed like an idea of past sci-fi movies, but we’re living it. It is the connection of all machines, devices, sensors, automobiles, cameras, and other "things" to help us improve operations and save valuable time and even money. But where is the future of IoT headed?
Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC) came out with a recent analysis that delves a little deeper to get a sense of IoT’s future, noting that businesses are adding “sensors,” the very things that collect data for efficient processes, and businesses in particular are investing in these, about 20 percent of them. This is up from 17 percent last year.
On the consumer side of things, IoT can help with every day tasks and appliance usage. Our refrigerators will be able to tell us and order for us our groceries as we run out of them. Our smartphones can control our thermostats, our ovens should we forget to turn them off, and our houses can turn our lights on and off for us.
Our machines are getting smarter and they can talk to each other. This is good for the businesses that make said appliances and machines, naturally.
PwC’s report also says that 54 percent of Top Performers said they will invest more in sensors this year, whereas 14 percent of respondents said sensors would be of the best strategic importance to their organizations in the next three to five years. So, it’s a mixed bag, but one thing is for certain: IoT won’t go away, and so industries will eventually need to get on board with it if it is, in fact, the next big thing. Businesses in retail, power and utilities, technology and even healthcare will have to eventually go the way of IoT.
What does this mean for machine to machine (M2M)? It means we are seeing a rise in M2M, as some of the key hardware components used in the development of M2M solution include sensors, actuators, RFID, memory, power module and communication module.
Major corporations in various industries – ranging from aerospace to oil and gas to electronics – are currently M2M applications, including inventory management, shipping and delivery, tracking parts, work in progress and employee data. This is all part of the larger IoT picture.
With M2M paired with an IoT solution, consumers can improve their everyday well-being and even save time and money in the long run, and businesses will have revenue-generating products by investing in IoT/M2M solutions.