Studies show that by 2018, the amount of mobile data traffic will surpass 15 exabytes per month. With larger and more powerful networks available, the technological potential of the Internet of Things offers consumers unlimited, and even revolutionary, advantages.
While there is no generally established definition, the Industrial Internet of Things (IoT) has been described as the connection of “physical objects to the internet and through each other through small, embedded sensors and wireless technologies, creating an ecosystem of ubiquitous computing.”
While the term has been tossed around since 2005, the exponential rise in smart technology has only recently led to a noticeable uptick in the attention and resources devoted to the IoT. And the industry as a whole only appears to be only gaining steam.
What kind of benefits will the IoT specifically yield to the consumer? Given its potential, the Internet of Things offers endless possibilities by changing the way we interact with technology, thus making life easier and more convenient for consumers.
In essence, the Internet of Things refers to the process of accumulating the plethora of data gathered and analyzed by mobile and smart devices, recording information everywhere from houses and cars to factories and offices.
Connected by ever-expanding wireless networks, the future of technology will be dictated through digital communication between electronic devices, merging the physical and digital worlds.
One area that experts believe will reap enormous benefits from IoT is the healthcare industry. The synchronization of smartphone apps and medical devices will help doctors and patients manage health care services by monitoring vitals and collecting physiological data to better treat, and hopefully eliminate, diseases and illnesses.
For instance, diabetic patients will be able to avoid constant visits to the doctor’s office thanks to insulin pumps and blood pressure cuffs wirelessly connected to a shared network, allowing physicians to monitor their patients’ health at all times.
Through the use and growth of IoT, the future of medicine will bring further improvements to our overall quality of life by increasing efficiency, and most of all, reducing prices and driving down medical bills.
What it Means for Businesses
And the benefits don’t end there. While it’s assumed that IoT will essentially revolutionize the consumer experience, the potential generated from this emerging technology has the ability to even more dramatically improve the future of business. Even today, companies are implementing this technology into their everyday practices.
Through RFID, or Radio Frequency Identification, for example, electronic tags are placed on products in stores and warehouses to monitor inventory. The precision and efficiency garnered from these devices can provide immeasurable value for companies in the digital age.
The rate at which technology has encompassed our world is insurmountable. Federal Trade Commission numbers show that by then end of this year, the world will be populated by 25 billion connected devices; by 2020, that number is expected to double. Furthermore, experts anticipate that the amount of sensors existing in the market could reach the trillions by the next decade.
In our increasingly globalized culture and economy, the amount of information collected by these connect systems and networks will produce more than 15 exabytes of data traffic; that’s roughly the equivalent of 15 quintillion bytes of generated data.
As a result of this cornucopia of intelligence, the Internet of Things has the potential to radically improve the consumer and business worlds in more ways than we can even imagine today.