A peek into the world of IoT

IoT (Internet of Things) has enabled machines to communicate digitally. The devices embedded with sensors can share data and talk to humans – called ‘Machine to Machine ( M2M) communication with a HMI (Human Machine Interface) element – and in a broader sense called the ‘Thing’ – will be a key element of our day to day lives.

Internet of Things (IoT) will drive new consumer and business behaviour that will demand increasingly intelligent industry solutions, which, in turn, will drive trillions of dollars in opportunity for IT industry and even more for the companies that take advantage of the IoT. The number of Internet-connected devices (12.5 billion) surpassed the number of human beings (7 billion) on the planet in 2011, and by 2020, Internet-connected devices are expected to number between 26 billion and 50 billion globally. CISCO advocates the same by stating that IoT has the potential to create $19 trillion of value in the near future. While some researchers state that IoT is just a hype others believe that it is the next big revolution in technology which is already being executed and utilised.

So what exactly is IoT?

IoT refers to connecting smart devices and systems through sensors and actuators that enhance data collection and analytics which is further utilised for application purposes. However, it is interesting to know that the term IoT was originally created in 1999 which has now gained momentum given the swift mobile networks, embedded and real-time communications, cloud computing and data analytics. The IoT employs an interesting phenomenon where the active and passive sensors will be able to read and pass on the location, time, condition or related details which will lead to physical to cyber-physical transformation.

IoT Architecture:

IoT architecture can be split into five fundamental elements.

  • Sensor platform: Essentially refers to the sensors used for various reasons that is backed with cloud services. This enables convenient access of data. This also comprises the connectivity hardware which has sensors that can transmit the data directly to the cloud and the connected device platform which is the cloud service itself. Importantly where the apps are developed.
  • Connectivity hardware platform: The hardware modules which are generally linked to the cloud and also enables to construct and run apps on the same (PaaS).
  • Cloud service: It allows data collection and lets the same to be used for related purposes.
  • Hardware platform: Allows to build modules which is again used to connect various devices.
  • IoT infrastructure: The device is connected to the hub which stores the needed information in the cloud (PaaS).

IoT Market Size:

Based on the article published in Forbes, the four major network providers being Cisco, IBM, GE and Amazon are supporting IoT with network modification. The addition of fog layer and swarm layer will facilitate simplification in the complex world of IoT. It will further lead to cost reduction for network connectivity.

Effectively IoT has been noticing a tremendous growth. The IoT installed base is projected to witness a CAGR of 17.5% from 2013 to 2020 in global terms. Gartner says the IoT products and services suppliers will produce incremental revenue exceeding $300 billion in 2020. As put across in IDC forecasts the worldwide market for IoT solutions will grow from $1.9 trillion in 2013 to $7.1 trillion in 2020. IoT market size in India is expected to be growing at a rate of 28% during 2015-2020, with a value of $ 15B in 2020. This accounts to 5-6% of the global IoT market. One of the contributing example is that the largest investment would come from the government initiative of Smart Cities (Rs 7060 crores). IoT is being used by various verticals in India especially to reduce manpower and operational costs and increase efficiency. Indian IOT market is highly fragmented with numerous players across the value chain in diverse sectors like consumer electronics, automotive and transportation, energy and utilities, retail, supply chain and logistic sectors. For energy management alone data analytics is one of the key features that has a market of $16 billion.

IoT focus sectors

  1. Wearables: With the boom in the fitness wearables it has also boosted the other products in similar categories. Fitness bands in particular have been doing well in the market following which are the smart watches. Big companies like Samsung, Apple and Google have invested majorly in this product line which highlights the growth of wearables. This has also led to several start-ups actively participating in wearables innovation.
  2. Connected cars: These cars not only concentrate on helping the passengers reach their destination but are backed with a range of features to look for. They are benefitting the carmakers, services providers and the whole travel industries. Based on a report published by the SNS research (July 2015) the connected car services are supposed to fetch a revenue of $40 billion in US in the next five years. Flexible billing options, including traditional up-front payments, subscriptions and consumption-based recurring payment schemes are some of the expected features in the connected cars.
  3. Smart cities: These cities will involve a range of IoT applications created on IoT platform that will be interconnected making the cities extremely efficient in terms of functionality and structure. This involves the active participation of the application and service providers who can contribute in creation of intense and reliable apps.
  4. Home automation: This is one of the most active sections of IoT. It has been shown that there will be a substantial amount of cut in the power consumption when the system is interlinked with consumer based devices such as smartphones for instance. There is also a huge potential existing on this sector that needs to be tapped. The concept of ‘smart homes’ have existed since the 60s but hasn’t seen much of a change and it is still restricted to the physical/analog solutions. As discovered by Consumer Electronics Association only about 10% of the homes in US are automated. But with the increase of the usage of smartphones which is expected to grow to 4bn in 2016 from 1.9bn today (Goldman Sachs CommTech team) backed with growing digitisation, home energy efficiency and security are considered to be the key focus areas for the industrials.

IoT Startups:

One thing is for sure, India has come a long way in IoT and it still has a long way to go. Here’s hoping to see many more amazing IoT products to write about in the year 2017.

— Team SoS

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