“Connecting the future, everywhere you look.” This is perhaps the best way to explain the oncoming wave of Internet of Things. IoT is the web of everyday things that connect and exchange information through the cloud. They work faster, smarter and more intelligent than their ordinary counterparts.
What is Internet of Things(IoT)?
IoT is not a standalone technology. It is the convergence of several Things, components, software and human ecosystems. As a result, it is broad than our Internet. It is a Digital Universe connected by smaller worlds.
This Universe of connected devices brings it with a massive business possibility in terms of automation, collaboration, and cost-efficiency. From startups to centuries-old corporations, IoT is on the tech agenda of every corporation of every imaginable scale and background.
Gartner, the world’s premier think tank in its latest research publication has zeroed in on 10 major IoT technologies that will make the future as we will know it.
The release is based on Gartner’s industry research and experience spanning decades. Gartner predicts that these technologies will be “on every organization’s radar in the next 2 years”.
Top 10 major IoT technologies as listed by Gartner includes:
- IoT Security
- IoT Analytics
- IoT Device (Thing) Management
- Low-Power, Short-Range IoT Networks
- Low-Power, Wide-Area Networks
- IoT Processors
- IoT Operating Systems
- Event Stream Processing
- IoT Platforms
- IoT Standards and Ecosystems
1. IoT Security
The first response from critics when the IoT term started gaining momentum was, “How safe is it?” It happens to be a much-debated topic. The fact is, IoT has several inherent security risks involved.
Since it is the convergence of several Things belonging to diverse OEM platforms, software and security protocols, there is no single common protocol that binds the IoT world together. This paves way for security lapses. Hackers with a shrewd eye for loopholes and backdoor entries can barge their way in and make away with sensitive user data and credentials.
Adding more trouble is the worrying fact that talent is scarce to find for IoT security. “Experienced IoT security specialists are scarce, and security solutions are currently fragmented and involve multiple vendors,” cited Nick Jones, a senior analyst at Gartner.
Read Also: Top 10 IoT Trends Predicted for 2018
2. IoT Analytics
IoT + Big Data is an explosive combo. The ceaseless data streams from connected devices can be archived, segmented and analyzed using Big Data analytics for meaningful decision-making.
The analytical data will help predict machine downtimes, understand customer behavior, enhance product experiences and much more in a detailed manner. With IoT becoming commonplace, the data volumes would skyrocket making Big Data more of a necessity than an option.
3. IoT Device (Thing) Management
Another technology that Gartner is hinting at is the need for monitoring and managing IoT devices from long ranges. As the number of connected devices increases and their location spreading into faraway distances, remote and scalable systems for constant monitoring will become essential.
4. Low-Power, Short-Range IoT Networks
A lion share of IoT devices will consist of low-power, short-range networks. Imagine working at a shopping mall and being alerted with a notification of an instant deal available in a nearby location. This is how the future of IoT connected world work like.
5. Low-Power, Wide-Area Networks
Also known as LPWAN, Low-Power, Wide-Area Networks will connect IoT Things over long distances using low-bandwidth. LPWAN will real-life applications in densely populated locations like cities, building campuses, power grids, smart tracking, manufacturing units, etc. They will help bring a wide variety of Things under one roof that otherwise cannot be connected through RFID, Machine to Machine or similar connectivity protocols.
6. IoT Processors
Sensors and nodes make up the IoT processing power. They are small in size, can tuck inside a tiny capsule and can emit signals containing packets of data. Powerful IoT processors can even engage in two-way communication. Depending on the sophistication of the processors, their level of security, power consumption, design, etc. will also undergo a change. Understanding these implications and making the right choice of IoT processors for operations will be a challenge.
7. IoT Operating Systems
Conventional operating systems like Mac OS, Android and Windows are not meant for IoT devices. The primary reason why they do not fit in is that they require a large chunk of free RAM memory and also have plenty of hardware dependencies.
IoT devices require an independent, lightweight and agile operating system that can be easily scaled, controlled and also updated. They need an exclusive operating system with specific languages and communication protocols for seamless data exchange. The tech world has already started developing IoT-ready operating systems to fill this void.
8. Event Stream Processing
Events stand for data that is being exchanged between Things. Depending on how powerful the Thing is, the events could be in the range of tens of thousands or even more than that. Traditional database systems are inadequate to manage them. Powerful Distributed Stream Computing Platforms (DSCPs) with parallel architectures are required to streamline and process these events in a legible fashion.
9. IoT Platforms
IoT platforms will bring under one roof all operational and infrastructural components. They can be broadly categorized as i) device control, ii) data operations and iii) IoT application development & allied operations. These platforms will set a common tone for the entire IoT ecosystem helping Things to connect to enterprise systems.
10. IoT Standards and Ecosystems
At present, there are no clear-cut standards and ecosystems where all IoT devices follow a common protocol. These standards will emerge as OEMs will come together to create IoT devices that can interoperate and communicate seamlessly.
Similarly, new ecosystems like connected homes, connected manufacturing, connected healthcare, connected cities will also come into play, turning the world into a massive grid of connected Things. Another wave of connected ecosystems will be in the form of counter-free retail shops. These shops will provide customers the convenience of walking in, picking up and leaving with their purchases without having to wait for billing and payment.
Gartner’s take on the emerging technology trends of IoT strikes a chord with present day happenings. Companies like Amazon and Toyota have already started experimenting with IoT on a massive scale and have achieved tangible results.
With time, IoT will catch up like the Industrialization of the 19th century. It will give way to inventive mechanisms like Manufacturing 4.0 and connected homes all of which will contribute to a safer and better way of living.
The entire IoT Universe as such will be pillared on these top 10 technologies as predicted by Gartner.