Coined in 1999 by British entrepreneur Kevin Ashton, the term Internet of Things /Everything is an application of connectivity to physical objects using electronics, software, sensors or their varying combinations. By connecting physical objects both physically and remotely, IoT allows greater value for the user as well as the manufacturer and service provider through the free flow of information in otherwise static objects.
By 2020, IoT opportunity is expected to be roughly from 26 billion to 50 billion devices. It is the next stage of the information revolution connecting everything from urban transport to medical equipment to household appliances.
As we speak, the convergence of Social, Mobility, Analytics (Data) and Cloud (acronymed as SMAC) is driving digital disruption worldwide, what with 77 billion apps being downloaded & 800 billion photos being shared annually on social media worldwide. It is estimated that digital infrastructure is being adopted five times faster than electricity and telephony.
As IoT gains momentum, it will impact a number of industry sectors including healthcare, agriculture, education, infrastructure, public services, utilities, manufacturing and more. Some of the areas where we can see results are:
- Smart Cities: Exploiting a host of smart services to emancipate the standard of living of citizens like intelligent traffic and parking management, automated building resource management, public safety and surveillance, and Wi-Fi services. As a pioneering example, XVidia, an IoT start-up Founded in December 2013 by US based technology entrepreneur Sanjay Sinha, already has close to a 100,000 devices – cameras, signage screens, household appliances etc. – on IOT, providing solutions across Digital Signage, Video Security Surveillance, Video Analytics, Smart Home Solutions, Vehicle Mobile Surveillance and Wearable Surveillance.
- Smart Localities:Solid waste management using sensor intelligence and location tracking, smart energy and water management, actionable monitoring of water and air quality and industry waste and pollution will help create a cleaner, greener environment.
- Smart Health: Health services delivered to remote populations via a network that supports voice, video and intelligent medical devices will enable actionable monitoring of patient vitals in various settings (hospitals, dementia centers, old-age homes), and provide specialist consultations to hospitals and health centers that lack local medical talent.
- Smart Agriculture:Precision farming based on data (temperature, moisture, pests) from field sensors can be used to maximize crop production. Storage facilities can also be controlled for these parameters to minimize spoilage. Real time agricultural and weather updates to mobile devices will keep farmers informed of critical and actionable information.
- Smart Operations: Continuous monitoring of plant and industrial operations, automated analysis and control automation over a secure network will allow manufacturing units to stay lean and profitable by using data driven decisions to adjust to evolving market demand.