What benefits will the IoT bring to society, in 2021 and beyond?
The Internet of Things (IoT) connects everyday objects to the internet via embedded computing devices, enabling them to send and receive data. Many people use IoT everyday without much thought with smart home appliances, home security systems and even smartphones. However with billions of IoT devices generated worldwide, there are a multitude of ways it will enrich our lives, now and in the future.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the implementation of IoT technologies has been dramatically accelerated. Nordic Semiconductor CTO, Svein-Egil Nielsen, stated, “What may have previously been regarded as a ‘nice to have’ has been transformed into a ‘must have’ for many businesses and organisations that wish to remain operationally viable during this pandemic.”
Some prime examples of this are the use of IoT in the healthcare industry. Asset tracking is a low-cost way for hospital staff to locate medical equipment quickly, when urgently needed. Another example is the wireless pulse oximeter – patients can be monitored remotely and continuously, enabling changes in health to be spotted immediately and minimising the risk of infection to staff.
A further advancement for the healthcare sector is Limbitless Solutions’ 3D printed prosthetic “bionic” arms for children, which can be customised to mimic popular superhero suits like Spiderman. The limb can be set up, adjusted and monitored through an app; it’s even able to set the degree of force needed in the fingers for varying tasks. Additionally, it’s more cost-effective to produce than other artificial limbs, through the combination of wireless technology with 3D printing and affordable electronics.
The IoT also has the potential to help businesses excel through optimising customer experience (CX). According to Frost & Sullivan’s recent analysis, 2021 Predictions COVID-19 Accelerates CX Investments, the insurance, healthcare and manufacturing sectors are looking to utilise the IoT’s monitoring capabilities to enhance CX. While 35% said they would use it to adapt to new work modes, 31% are focused on accelerating digital customer engagement and 30% to enhance e-commerce capabilities.
It’s becoming increasingly accessible for businesses to use as well, with Rayven’s new drag-and-drop predictive analytics engine, AI Dynamix. This will enable non-technical users to design, build and deploy AI-based IoT solutions themselves, without spending a lot of time and money in development.
Jared Oken, Rayven CEO, stated, “This will enable our partners and customers to quickly adopt complex AI and Machine Learning algorithms, as well as find new ways to achieve their business goals.”
Combining IoT and AI technologies together can also aid individuals, like smart speaker Alexa or smart watches that track sleeping patterns and exercise routines. Soon to be launched will be Google’s self-driving car Waymo, which boasts to save fuel, reduce traffic and increase passengers’ safety.
Overall, the IoT reduces the chance of human error, mitigates risk, is cost-effective and time efficient for consumer and commercial use, bringing about positive change for the future.