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One of the most significant IT innovations in recent years is the IoT. In our daily lives, all of us rely on a range of technologies, which is everywhere, from waking up to a mobile alarm clock to playing music by uttering 'Alexa’; but how did it all begin? How far has it come? What will the future hold for it? What is the role that IoT app development companies play in it? Let's see...
The timeline of significant events in the growth of IoT is depicted in the info-graphic from HQ Software. Kevin Ashton, co-founder of MIT's Auto-ID Centre, is credited with coining the term in the 1990s. His concept was to connect devices using RFID technology. Nowadays, the IoT service providers predominantly use IP networking to communicate between devices.
The RFID concept proposed by Ashton failed to gain momentum. Instead, in 2000, the first internet-connected refrigerator was released, which used a LAN connector to connect to the internet. More information about that, as well as other devices that came in the 2000s, can be found in the Wikipedia entry.
Some claim that it really took off in 2009, when Google started testing self-driving cars. A year later, China emphasized the IoT as critical to addressing financial difficulties. In 2015, the Global Standards Initiative was established, and governments began to consider IoT security in 2017
In 2019, there were 9.5 billion active IoT devices, which was substantially larger than expected. IoT connections grew in 2020 because of the use of laptops & computers.
From thermostats to autos, all types of gadgets are now connected to the internet. Many things have contributed to this, including the growth of networking capabilities. The rise of the cloud has been maybe the most important cause. IoT devices have since grown far less expensive, with cloud servers providing massive storage capacity.
According to Statista, by 2025, the total number of installed connected devices will be 75.4 billion worldwide. This represents a fivefold increase since 2015.
These figures suggest that the future of IoT development services will be more innovative and revolutionary than the present. It seems inevitable that IoT will be adopted by a growing number of domains. Let's look at some of the IoT trends that will shape the future:
1. 5G integration:
Existing networks' capabilities would be greatly enhanced by 5G. The current network would not be replaced by 5G, but rather enhanced. 5G, whether old or new, would allow for lightning-fast data transmission to and from cloud servers.
2. Single interface:
As previously stated, an increasing number of devices with various capacities are joining IoT networks every second. Instead of a basket of remotes and interfaces, individuals and businesses would require a single interface that allows end-to-end access.
3. Multi-level privacy and security
Data privacy and security will become increasingly more critical. Data security has traditionally been implemented at the device level, whether it's a smartphone, laptop, or other smart device connected to an IoT network. Privacy and security protections will be introduced at several tiers between IoT endpoints in the future.
4. Shift from products to services ecosystem
The data generated by any IoT system is its primary driver. Companies that produce products would gradually shift to delivering services based on data insights.
Advancements in three technologies; Cloud Computing, Big Data, and Artificial Intelligence have aided the rapid rise of IoT. The IoT appears to have a bright future. 5G is poised to significantly disrupt the IoT by bringing high-speed transmission capabilities to both existing and future IoT networks.
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The internet of things, or IoT, is a system of interrelated computing devices, mechanical and digital machines, objects, animals, or people that are provided with unique identifiers (UIDs) and the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction.
We can consider an IoT healthcare facility as a collection of ubiquitous computing that mainly deals with external activities. In healthcare, IoT-based healthcare systems collect a variety of patient data and get inputs from doctors’ medical professionals. Continuous glucose monitoring for insulin pens is the best example of this.
Applications of IoT solutions in healthcare
1. Tracking Staff, Patients, and Inventory
IoT tracking in a healthcare facility is a process of keeping track of the hospital’s physical assets including staff and patients. The usage of IoT tracking in medical surroundings is also referred to as “indoor GPS”. IoT majorly uses the technology of RFID tags (Radio-Frequency Identification) to track and monitor healthcare assets.
The purpose of IoT tracking in the healthcare industry is to make well-versed decisions and provide on-time treatment. Tracking through IoT healthcare applications enables real-time alerting, and monitoring. All of this enables them to offer accurate treatments and improved patient care.
2. Remote Patient Monitoring System
A remote patient monitoring system is one of the best IoT healthcare applications used widely across the globe. IoT-based remote patient monitoring system is an extension of medical systems, where a patient’s vitals can be monitored remotely.
Currently, remote patient monitoring systems have been developed using low-power dedicated miniaturization sensors with the sole purpose to monitor EKG, SpO2, temperature, and movement.
3. Robotics and Healthcare Automation
Robotics and healthcare automation are also facilitated by performing integrated duties using the field of mechanical and electronics. The ultimate purpose of automation in healthcare and the use of robots is medically intervening, rehabilitating, and care for patients.
Surgeons can perform complex procedures, by deploying small Internet-connected robots inside the human body, that would be difficult to manage using human hands. At the same time, robotic surgeries performed by small IoT devices can reduce the size of incisions required to perform surgery, leading to a less invasive process, and faster healing for patients. These devices must be small enough and reliable enough to perform surgeries with minimal disruption.
4. Smart Hospitals
Smart hospitals are medical facilities that use IoT applications to monitor the health of patients, saline levels, blood pressure, and control vitals from a distant position. Smart hospitals operate mainly on IoT applications that can monitor the patient and generate an alarm if the condition of the patient is deteriorating. An IoT healthcare app development company can especially build IoT applications for Smart Hospitals based on their requirements.
The goal of smart hospitals is to develop, design, and construct new clinical processes using IoT applications. Smart hospitals optimize management systems as well as digitize networking infrastructure with advanced IoT healthcare technologies to provide a valuable service.
5. Hospital Information Management System
IoT-based hospital information and management systems provide a common source of information about a patient’s health history. IoT applications connect physical and analog devices through the internet, with the use of actuators and sensors to gather data. This data is stored in hospital information and management systems and analyzed by medical staff.
IoT-based hospital information and management systems handle different directions of medical workflows. Hospital information and management systems improve healthcare performance along with administrative, medical, legal, and financial control.
IoT changes the way facilities are delivered to the healthcare industry. IoT app development companies can improve the product, causing a larger effect by bringing together minor changes.
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The internet of things IoT is one of the most prominent tech trends to have emerged in recent years. Today, more businesses like IoT app development companies are taking advantage of the benefits of IoT than ever before. In simple terms, it refers to the fact that while the word internet initially referred to the wide-scale networking of computers, today devices of every size & shape, from cars to kitchen appliances to industrial machinery, are connected & sharing information digitally on a global scale. As with every aspect of our lives, the global coronavirus pandemic has undoubtedly affected the way this trend is developing & impacting our lives. In a world where contact between humans is, for now, more limited, contact between devices, tools & toys can help us remain connected.
Healthcare investment in IoT to Skyrocket
From telemedicine to automated home help for the elderly & disabled, smart wearables, sensors & connected devices will continue to change the way healthcare is delivered. It will also be used to minimize unnecessary contact in situations, where the risk of viral contamination is particularly high, for example, care homes & infectious disease wards within hospitals.
This trend will undoubtedly continue upwards during 2021 now that infrastructure & patient awareness of the advantage is in place. Strong growth has also been seen in the market for devices that will allow the elderly to remain independent in their own homes for longer. This will include tools utilizing AI to detect falls to changes to regular daily routines that could alert relatives or healthcare providers that intervention could be required.
IoT means more productive WFH
Work-from-home (WFH) is the latest normal for many of us in the information economy in current times due to safety concerns encompassing massive numbers of people gathering in offices and city centers. With AI-powered personal assistants like Alexa now placed in many of our homes, we can expect more devices designed to aid us in operating our day while working remotely. This will involve more intelligent computerized scheduling and calendar tools, better quality, interactive video conferencing, and virtual meeting technology. Microsoft’s Virtual Stage platform, for example, uses its Azure Kinect sensors to enable immersive, AI-powered presentations that will keep us better engaged.
IoT in Retail sector
As we noticed in the initial times of the COVID crisis, several non-essential stores were tentatively shut down with insignificant disturbance to our lives – thanks to online retail evolution. However, stores supplying essentials like food and medicine must remain open to serve the basic needs of local populations.
Overhead the following year, we can foresee a new direction for innovative models such as Amazon’s fully automated supermarkets that cut down on the need for non-vital human interaction as we stock our homes with food and other essentials.
Automation through IoT-enabled devices will also continue to grow in the extensive fulfillment centers that dispatch inventory to stores. Contact-free payment systems will also grow frequently prevailing as we progress further towards the “cashless society” that has been foretold to arrive for some time soon, inducing its own hurdles.
Other developments in retail will entail the use of RFID tags to track the movement of customers around stores. As earlier, this will be used to make choices over stock deployment and foodstuff by registering how and when patrons interact with displays and products on the racks.
IoT in smart cities
According to PwC, Smart city development is poised for growth over the next seven years. By 2025, the market for this technology will reach $2.5 trillion. Smart cities are second in line for 5G implementation after industrial IoT. This will allow for a stable network with enough bandwidth capacity. The connectivity diversity for smart city solutions is among the top issues for technology. Data is the most intriguing element. Smart city data is mostly public and can be collected much more quickly than data required for smart home systems.
Therefore, an opportunity is there for onboard AI in combination with IoT to prove successful. For example, the Roads and Transport Authority in Dubai utilized AI for crowd management at metro stations.
IoT at the edge
The adoption of edge computing will become more significant for the Internet of Things devices to conquer the cloud computing drawbacks such as latency issues and low bandwidth faced in the real-time data processing. Edge computing is an accurate data processing and cost-efficient method for IoT devices. Companies should make decisions based on IoT information speedier than ever before to appreciate the true device’s value on the network. With the union of 5G networks, an increase in IoT and IoT devices, and a striking increase in the data amount we are collecting, edge computing can be turned up as significant as ever in this year.
2021 promises to be another year of trouble and uncertainty around the globe and IoT technology will undoubtedly deliver practical solutions to various complexities and challenges faced by people working tenuously.