The World is Shrinking Faster Than You Think……
Gone are the days, when Earth seemed like a huge planet and people were disconnected from each other – even within their own cities, let alone the world! It was only in 1917 when the first public music broadcast was made by 9XM in Wisconsin. Gaining momentum, getting updates on world events was now easier. With the general public gaining access to telephones in the mid 1960’s, you could call virtually anyone across the globe – if you were rich enough! But the tides turned in 1995, when the internet was decommercialized and opened for public. As advancement gained momentum, the world began to shrink faster. There is one more important advancement left before we entered a new era in 2008. Amalgamation of all forms of communication technologies into one device: mobile phones. By this time more people were connected to each other than ever before in the history of humanity. It was cheap, reliable, convenient and secure(?!). What could possibly happen now? What if the devices around us could speak to each other now? Well, ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to todays topic, ‘Internet of Things’ aka IoT.
While advancements were being made in the field of information and communication technology over these decades, the standard of living improved in almost all the countries and with higher disposable income people started having more gadgets around them. Today on an average every person has 4 devices connected to the internet. This figure sounds crazier when you realize that 45% of human population doesn’t even have access to internet! This figure is set to rise to 6 devices per person connected to internet by 2020.
Cisco predicts a network of 1 trillion sensors to be present globally gathering information day and night by 2022. But the question is, what exactly is IoT? According to British Technologist, Kevin Ashton, IoT is a network that not only connects people but also the electronic devices around them. It is a vast network of smart objects which work together in collecting and analysing data and autonomously performing actions – is becoming a reality, thanks to the machine-to-machine communication (M2M) technology.
The smart home / automated home market, another IoT vertical, is forecast to grow significantly over the next few years, as the global smart home market is forecast to grow to more than 50 billion U.S. dollars. The smart home automation market is projected to reach more than 20 billion U.S. dollars in revenue by that time. The use of IoT extends to all types of buildings, as well as to the automotive industry, creating not only smart homes, but also smart cars and offices, and eventually smart cities. Well that’s still fine, I understand the human nature, curious, fearless, sometimes selfless, but this era will be unlike any other once we realize the depth to which IoT can penetrate our lives.
“By 2020, everything from clothes to food will be connected to the web”, Niall Murphy, CEO and co-founder of EVRYTHNG. EVRYTHNG already has deals in place that should see ten billion apparel items made by well-known brands fitted with digital tags in the next two years, and 20 billion food and beverage items tagged over the next 24 to 36 months. If a proportion of the trillions of products being sold every year become digitised, they will become “active digital points of interaction” with manufacturers of those products shifting gear to “become one of biggest media providers in the world”.
Murphy gave the example of a clothing company trialling smart clothing, where a jacket can act as a loyalty tool to let you buy things, a passkey to clubs and more. Brands, on the other hand, can track that product through its lifecycle to “drive experiences and interactions as it moves through the world”. Being smart with that data and using it to understand consumer behaviour and drive returns, will be key to whether this approach succeeds or fails for individual brands.
Another most recognizable form of IoT are smart assistants like Google Home or Amazon Alexa. According to Metova, 90 percent of U.S consumers now own some form of smart home device. This shows the IoT is well-and-truly reached mass adoption in the consumer space. A new player in this sector is ‘Kuri’ – A first-of-its-kind Home Robot unveiled at Consumer Electronics Show last year. It is different from other robots because,
- It has it’s own personality, because it learns from what you teach it
- It is aware of its surroundings, displays emotions and responds to your gestures
- It is mobile, it will follow you, wherever you go!
If you haven’t, meet Kuri here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=TlyEjlpDlxM
On 5th July, 2018 at the 41st Annual General Meeting of the Reliance Industries, MD Mukesh Ambani announced the launch of its Fibre-To-The-Home (FTTH) service with focus on IoT. With speeds of up to 1Gbps and JioSmartTv you could now make a video call anywhere in the world from your TV itself! Even more interesting is that this launch was accompanied with launch of IoT enabled Jio Smart Home Accessories like, audio dongle, video dongle, smart speaker, Wi-Fi extender, smart plug, outdoor security camera, and a TV camera, smoke sensor, water leak sensor, siren, gas leak sensor, panic button, door sensor, and smart video doorbells etc. These are designed to let users control and monitor their homes remotely using their smartphones. The prime purpose of the new launch is to expand the presence of connected homes in India. “With some simple accessories that Jio will provide, every appliance, every plug point, every switch in your house will become smart, which means that they can be securely monitored and controlled from anywhere and everywhere,” said Akash Ambani.
Author: Anuj Agarwal, Project Engineer, Aspira.