The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the network of objects that use embedded technology to function, or to interact with other devices or their environment. Everything from the management of manufacturing equipment, to remote health care monitoring, to operating a variety of fitness devices is possible through the fast-growing IoT. Recently, more tech companies and manufacturers have been hopping on board in preparation for what they believe consumers will look for in the products they purchase in the future: products that can be customized and connected. This week’s articles shed light on how quickly the market for smart home and connected products is growing, as well as how companies can begin to tap into this rapidly advancing trend.
ARM introduced a platform this week that will allow manufacturers to easily connect their products to the Internet securely and with minimal power requirements. The free technology will make for a more consistent customer experience and will also provide a way for manufacturers to integrate their devices with current cloud services.
Google is in the development stages of an IoT project, which would allow smart devices to work without being connected to an app. What does that mean? Think instant activation through proximity: a bus stop that wirelessly delivers you the time schedule as you approach the stop, or an advertisement that prompts interaction when you walk up to it. The project, called ‘The Physical Web’, comes on the heels of forecasts suggesting that as many as 50 billion gadgets will connect to the Internet by 2020.
Gartner predicts that the IoT will be a trillion-dollar industry by 2020. From home improvement to office supplies, numerous industries will have a smart object market. For example, Lowe’s is encouraging the development of “smart home” devices, with open-API requirements for product manufacturers to improve integration across devices.
A report conducted on the emerging consumer market for smart home devices predicts that the industry will see tremendous growth in the next five years. The “connected-home” category, with approximately a quarter of IoT shipments this year, is composed mostly of energy products – a trend that is only expected to grow moving forward.