You‘ve probably heard of the Internet of Things by now, and if you haven’t, you might be surprised to discover it's likely already made an impact on your life. The Internet of Things, or IoT for short, refers to connecting everyday objects to the internet and allowing them to exchange data on their performance and the environment. By gaining the ability to communicate, common items you interact with every day are becoming “smarter.” IoT is making an impact on businesses across the board, including commercial buildings, manufacturing, retail and events.
IoT isn’t only limited to the brick-and-mortar world though, as benefits are even being seen by cattle farmers in the agriculture industry, where IoT sensor monitoring help cows deliver calves safely during birth (150,000 safe births, actually). It’s also had a significant impact on energy consumption by identifying peak times in energy usage through smart thermostats that adjust a room's temperature to your preference. In a recent study by Gartner, Inc., the number of connected devices is predicted to rise to 8.4 billion in 2017, a 31% increase over 2016. With so many promising numbers, the future is clear: The Internet of Things is here, and it’s here to stay.
Kevin Ashton is a renowned tech pioneer who co-founded the Auto-ID Center at MIT, and created a global standard system for radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags. He is also responsible for coining the phrase the “Internet of Things” in 1999, and in his new eBook ‘Making Sense of IoT’, Ashton explains IoT as:
What is the Internet of Things? It is not connecting everyday objects like toasters and refrigerators to the Internet. Products like these exist, but it is hard to see why… What defines the Internet of Things is data capture… The ‘Internet of Things’ means sensors connected to the internet and behaving in an Internet-like way by making open, ad hoc connections, sharing data freely and allowing unexpected applications.
Imagine that, a world where virtual reality and true reality come together. Your smart refrigerator having the ability to analyze its own contents, order more milk when you run out, and have it delivered to your door automatically. A smart collar analyzing when your dog needs to go outside and triggers an automated doggy door to open for you. The possibilities for these smart connections span as far as the breadth of our imagination. Eric Church, Chairman of Google, sums up this fusion in a quote from 2015:
The Internet will disappear. There will be so many IP addresses, so many devices, sensors, things that you are wearing, things that you are interacting with, that you won’t even sense it. It will be part of your presence all the time. Imagine you walk into a room, and the room is dynamic. And with your permission and all of that, you are interacting with the things going on in the room.
So what does IoT mean for your business? In the article “IoT just got serious”, Morten Illum, VP of EMEA at Aruba (A Hewlett Packard Enterprise company) explains just how big IoT is becoming and the impact it’s having on businesses. Here are a few key points that illustrate its significance:
- 85% of businesses plan to start using IoT technologies by 2019
- 4/5 companies that use IoT technologies report an increase in business efficiency
- The average IoT deployment experienced a 34% increase in ROI
- Europe, the Middle East and Africa are showing a 50% take up of IoT tech, compared to 60% in APAC and 66% in the Americas
Don’t let the opportunity for growth be ignored in your company. Forbes tell us that IoT will impact businesses in areas such as data collection, inventory management, remote work, speed and accessibility, and efficiency and productivity. All of these changes will lead to smarter products, business operations, decisions, and ultimately, a stronger bottom line.
It goes without saying, it’s time for the world to fully embrace the potential of IoT. We are in the midst of a paradigm shift that will influence the world like the automobile revolutionized society in the late-1800’s. As the natural progression of technology follows its path, IoT is the key for unlocking the next door.
Scanalytics is among the top 10 fastest growing “Internet of Things” companies, measuring human behavior insights through intelligent floor sensors. The SoleSensor platform translates consumer foot traffic into actionable data through a dashboard interface for real-time and historical viewing of trends in physical spaces. Using the floor sensor technology, brands capture and analyze occupancy, traffic patterns and engagement times to increase conversions and improve ROI.
With over 40 million impressions to date, Scanalytics has deployed SoleSensors across the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe and Southeast Asia. Learn more at: www.scanalyticsinc.com.