It’s 2018, your computer works with your phone and your tablet. You can speak to your device in your kitchen to add ingredients to your shopping list. You walk into a room and can tell the room to turn the lights on and change the color to purple. You finish a load of laundry and press a button and it automatically reorders more detergent for you. This is the Internet of Things, otherwise known as IoT revolution!
How many people have an Amazon Echo, a Google Home, an Apple Home Pod? According to techcrunch.com, there are over 39 million Americans who own a smart speaker. It’s not just that Americans are buying these smart devices, they’re also spending money on subscriptions, additional products, etc. According to marketwatch.com, consumers spend over $2 billion through voice shopping with experts predicting that number to increase upwards of $40 billion by 2022.
Some of the major industries to see a major shakeup due to the IoT are manufacturing, transportation, utilities, healthcare, consumer electronics, and cars.
Manufacturing: Manufacturing is the number one industry that is receiving the majority of investments. The main reasons being efficiency, automation, customer-centricity, competitive benefits and the ability to gather more and more data. The faster a company can make something, the more they make. The more efficient they can make it, the more money they save.
Transportation: With the ability to use IoT technology to reduce traffic, improve public transportation, increase safety and make transportation faster, major cities are heavily investing across the globe. Plus, with the ability to gather so much information on people and their driving patterns, data is going to be a gold mine.
Utilities: With utility companies now having the ability to have more accurate meter readings, they can create smarter grids to increase efficiency and accuracy. Companies will now be able to offer better incentives to those who are under their meter readings to lower their bills and reduce other costs!
Healthcare: IoT’s biggest improvement may come in the healthcare field. They can now reduce wait times; monitor health readings without the patient coming to the hospital; track inventory, patients and staff better; and have the ability to better manage chronic diseases.
Consumer Electronics: As previously mentioned, there’s the smart speaker, there are wearable devices, smart plugs, smart light bulbs, smart door locks and doorbells, smart thermostats, smart bike locks and trackers, smart speakers . . . I could stay here all day and list all of the smart consumer electronics. The point is, the goal is to have everyone in a “smart” home where everything works together!
Smart Cars: This one is close to my heart. My man, Elon Musk, is leading the way with his smart cars in Tesla. Now Tesla isn’t the only car manufacturer creating smart cars, there is Ford, SAAB, Mercedes-Benz and many more. There are also apps for cars to help direct you to the fastest route and ones that show the cheapest gas in the area. Music apps are evolving as well that will play certain music to kick your road trip up a notch when you reach a certain mileage.
All of these IoT devices are going to improve our daily activities, they’ll make us safer, they’ll make us more comfortable and happier, but with all of this comes security risks. People aren’t comfortable putting a microphone right in their home where they have a private conversation. I, myself, am someone who can’t seem to find a use for a smart speaker. If I want to look something up, I’ll just type it in to my computer or my phone. If I need to ask something, I’ll have a conversation… with a human being.
I’m sure if I were to own several of these smart devices I’d find a use for them. However, I can’t seem to justify the purchase at this point in my life! Practical? Definitely. Will I buy? Not quite yet.