2017 is the year of Internet of Things. No, this is not yet another typical industry prophecy which will be repeated come 2018. There are clear indications that a lot of bugs that plagued the IoT industry for the past couple of years have been plugged.
While it is not perfect yet, it is surely taking off and amassing users. For this reason, brands will be forced to adopt this technology or adapt to the challenges it poses. Below are some of the biggest IoT changes to be expected in 2017.
Voice Assistants Will Become Integral Members of Our Home
With Siri, Apple showed that voice assistants can be cool and useful at the same time. But, Siri continues to be a plaything of the tech savvy. It is Amazon that got the mainstream consumers using a voice assistant for their daily needs.
With Echo and Alexa, Amazon has successfully entered the homes of even those who cannot recognize it as an IoT product. The success of a technology product is in its acceptance by the mainstream consumers, not the hobbyists or tech bloggers. Therefore, unlike Apple’s Siri, Google Now, or Microsoft’s Cortana, Amazon’s success with its voice assistant technology is truly a milestone in this industry.
This has paved the way for Google Home voice assistant, which promises a deep integration across your entire digital life with your Google account. Perhaps, voice is the bait the consumers were waiting for to get pulled into the world of IoT.
At the moment, wearables continue to be those fancy new things that most consumers do not see much value in. However, there has been a steady increase in the number of early adopters of these devices, which in turn has resulted in a surge in data collected from those devices.
Using this data, brands, developers, manufacturers, and data scientists will be able to analyze and understand the usage patterns of the users. They can then come up with more features which will be useful to a broader set of consumers.
As more consumers use the technology, it will in turn increase the data collected from them exponentially. This virtuous cycle will fire up a cutthroat competition in IoT devices and technology, which will percolate to better IoT products across industries.
The data from wearables will be put to similar applications as data from social media. In the case of wearables, the brands will start developing custom algorithms to retrieve specific data that they need to make decisions about their brands and products.
Going forward, this will spawn a whole new industry with access to consumer wearables-generated data. They will then offer their services to brands and businesses to help them make better decisions. That’s right, exactly like social media.
Thanks to such algorithms, brands will be able to analyze the effect of their marketing campaigns in real time, and make improvements to them. Needless to say, such data will be worth millions, and perhaps even billions, of dollars to the right players in the market.
Security of IoT Devices and Data
Considering the potential worth of all the data generated from IoT devices, they will be at an increased risk of attacks from elements looking to sell it in the shadow market. In anticipation of such attacks, IoT manufacturers and businesses developing softwares for them will be under increased pressure to develop secure systems to protect their consumers’ data.
At present, because of the limited market penetration of IoT devices, their security infrastructure is not as “secure” as one would hope it to be. But, as their penetration has increased this year, security will finally take the center stage in the product development and maintenance life cycles.
Smart Cities Are Not in the Far Future Anymore
Despite what many people believe, government departments are usually among the first to accept new technology if it is capable of delivering immediate tangible benefits. The technology heads of some of the biggest municipalities in the US are realizing the practical benefits of IoT products and services.
Cost savings, increased safety, better quality of life, and direct boost to local businesses are some of the areas where IoTs can work wonders. So tomorrow, don’t be surprised if you come across smart lightings, smart parking centers, smart meters, smart healthcare systems, and so on in your neighborhood. It is all part of the same evolving organism that is IoT, which is here to improve your life in every possible way.