Updated: Jun 7
The Formation of the Internet of Things
Technologically, the world of today is vastly different from the world of 20 years ago and even 10 years ago. Advancements and developments in technology continue to spread like wildfire and are changing the way we live our daily lives. The birth of the internet from the basic action of connecting two computers together to "communicate" with one another in 1969 has led to unimaginable innovations in which technology plays a central role in every action of daily life. This is becoming more true as companies begin to invest in the Internet of Things (IoT), or the connection of operational devices with the internet.
What is the Internet of Things?
The term "Internet of Things" was first coined by Kevin Ashton of MIT in 1999. The "things" referred to in this term can be any tangible object or living thing that has a unique identifier which can transmit data over a network. Some examples of these things could be pets with biochips, a car with sensors that transmit information about the functioning of the vehicle, or the fitness watches one wears while working out.
According to Business Insider, IoT is being developed in three distinct fields: consumer, enterprise, and government. In the area of consumer IoT, smart homes and personal health solutions are gaining ground. Businesses, composing the enterprise segment, are looking for ways to automate and utilize robotics. Finally, the government is developing smart cities which employ connected cameras and meters to collect information and aid in developing appropriate solutions.
It is estimated that over the next five years, that $6 trillion will be spent on IoT with the area of enterprise leading the way. Government will come second, followed by consumers. Business Insider predicts that in 2020 there will be approximately 34 billion IoT devices in use which is up from 10 billion in 2015.
Leading Businesses in the Internet of Things
Which companies are leading the foray into IoT? Who are the leaders with the most experience and the best investment opportunities? Here are some of the key businesses which are developing fascinating innovations in this field:
· Hitachi offers the Lumada IoT platform, a way to tap into data and develop solutions that will improve business practices and increase efficiency. They offer consultation services to help clients find the best way to use IoT to their advantage and smart cameras and devices for data collection.
· Honeywell is the current leader in the integration of IoT within the field of manufacturing. They are involved with blending software with physical products with the goal of improving aircraft, vehicles, homes, utilities, and factories.
· Comcast has rolled out a national LoRaWAN network called machineQ. Comcast, with its extensive network and unique positioning in the United States, is continuing to pursue the development of IoT technology and solutions.
· T-Mobile launched the first Narrow-band IoT network in the United States. This network helps bring IoT solutions to the market and support new technologies. Their IoT platform, Connect, has allowed them to innovate with companies like twilio, Nokia, and Ericsson.
· Apple has a strong connection with the consumer market. For example, their HomeKit helps individuals collect data and control accessories related to utilities and security in their homes. Consumers can control these aspects with just a touch on their phone, watch or device.