The hype around the Internet of Things (IoT) is huge right now, and there is good reason as to why.

Firstly, IoT is now virtually everywhere. Let’s look at the numbers: before the dotcom crash there were 300 million desktop computers connected to the internet: in 2016 (the era of the smartphone) a further 2 billion phones had become connected to the Internet, And by 2020, experts predict that there will be 13 billion kettles, fridges, freezers, TV, thermostats and other things in your home ‘online’, with a further 400 million wearables and 650 million health related devices with internet functionality. The numbers alone show us that IoT is now reaching further and further into our everyday lives, even if we don’t realize it. To give you a better understanding of how the IoT will affect you in 2018, we outline 4 exciting growth areas for this important tech!

 

The Smart Home

More than 100,000 people search the term ‘smart home’ every month, and it is therefore no surprise that it is the most popular use of IoT in 2018. Currently being lead by the global powerhouses of Google, Apple and Amazon, market innovators are finding new applications for this tech in our homes on what seems to be a daily basis. From allowing you to alter your heating remotely, to talking speakers, through to smart security systems that can alert you of intruders, industry players are using the IoT to make life around the home easier for you.

 

Wearables

Smartwatches and fitness trackers allow you to track your health and fitness goals whilst on the move. Many have now been designed to include sleep and heart rate monitors, enabling easier monitoring and recording of your activities whilst on the go. The increased sophistication of the IoT and smart networks is allowing for more and more devices to talk to each other in real-time, better supporting us in our increasing use of tech. For wearables, IoT allows for a level of bi-directional communication that will support true synergies and interoperability between devices.

 

Connected cars

One great example from this field is that we can now control our cars from our smartphones (remember being blown away by key-less entry? This is one revolution further!)

We’ve all been stuck in the position where we can’t quite remember if the car is locked – you’re pretty sure, but there is always that little voice say, ‘is it?’ With a connected car, you can simply check its access status from your phone. If the car does happen to be open, then owners can you a specially designed app to retrospectively lock their vehicle. Although this is the headline feature, the app can also give you easy access to your vehicle’s maintenance schedule, fuel and oil levels, and even track the vehicle in case of loss or theft!

 

Connected health

One of the most common types of connected health in operation today are home care remote monitoring programmes. These help to ensure the adequate care of elderly parents living at a distance from their relatives, as well as web based medical care. The communicative nature of the IoT networks and smart technologies allows relatives to stay connected across large geographic distances, removing some of the barriers created from geographical distance. 

 

Looking Forward
There are a wealth of disruptive uses of IoT out there in 2018. Across multiple branches of industry, stakeholders are finding more and more innovative uses for communicative networks, helping to further improve operational efficiencies and outputs. With mass-growth predicted for 2018 and beyond, we are excited to keep up with the development of this field, and, arguably, the most exciting tech field of this decade.