The Internet of Things (IoT) is still a hot topic in the tech world, but do you really know how applicable IoT can be (or even might already be) in your everyday life? Before we dive into a few industries who are killing it when it comes to IoT capabilities, let’s all quickly get on the same page about what IoT actually is:
IoT Quick Takes
I won’t spend too much time diving into the nitty gritty details of IoT (we’ve already been there, done that), but there are a few basic things to know. IoT can basically be summed up as any object that is connected to both the internet and to other devices. Although not the case with every IoT device, a major identifier of these devices will be the name: “smart ____” (think: smart car, smart house, smart lock, etc.). The main goal in creating these connected devices is to provide users with smarter, more efficient experiences.
Where Is IoT Being Used?
Well, the quick answer to that question is…everywhere! According to Gartner, by 2020 there will be 20.8 billion IoT connected devices, but even today, there are a number of industries that have really dived head-first into IoT implementation.
Think of this category as any of the devices that make up a “smart home.” As technology continues to grow and develop, more and more aspects of the home life are controllable from your mobile device. There are some well known and widely used ones, like thermostats and lightbulbs, while others are still growing in popularity and usability–a few of my favorites being Hiku, the smart fridge magnet that makes grocery shopping easy, and GeniCan, the trash can accessory that assists you in building your grocery list based on what you’ve thrown out.
Wearables is a category of IoT devices that has really taken to the mainstream market. Apple Watches and Fitbits have become a vital part of many people’s day-to-day lives–so much so that two in five wearable users say they actually feel naked without their device, with half of these people not even taking it off to sleep. This category is growing and developing every day, and utilizations will continue to increase beyond the expected health and wellness capabilities.
If you’ve missed the explosion of this category, I’d have to ask if you’ve been hiding under a rock. The phrase “Alexa, what is the weather today” may be one of the most commonly used phrases around households today. One in six Americans (that’s about 39 million), own a voice activated speaker. This category, which includes Amazon Echo (and all of its derivatives), Google Home and Apple HomePod, has had about three years of consistent growth in adoption rates, and is only expected to continue growing. These devices are changing the game of IoT by growing that in-home IoT web and allowing you to control your other “smart” devices with just the sound of your voice.
The creation and integration of connected vehicles in the automotive industry has revolutionized the driving experience. More and more automobile brands are joining these efforts to ease their drivers’ daily lives and allow a wide variety of capabilities within the car–including the ability to start your car remotely from a phone or smartwatch, receive real-time updates on maps, personalize sound within the car based on your preferences, and even power the the possibility of a self driving vehicle in the future.
According to BI Intelligence, there is expected to be approximately 381 million connected cars on the road by 2020–a huge increase from the 36 million back in 2016. A driving force behind the growth we’re seeing in connected cars is the AT&T Drive Studio, which allows top tech brands to collaborate with more than 25 top automotive brands to produce premier technology for the best driving experience.
These four categories are just a few of the many industries in which we see IoT revolutionizing the user experience. The world of tech is finding ways to connect all parts of your life seamlessly, so it’s time to jump on the bandwagon and ensure that your business is providing connected experiences at every moment.