Today, technical advances such as low-power chips, better connectivity, and advanced artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are opening up new use cases for the Internet of Things. objects (IoT). Applications in healthcare, manufacturing and transportation are taking off.
A McKinsey report projects that, by 2030, IoT products and services will create between $5.5 trillion and $12.6 trillion in value. IoT solutions, however, come with complexities. These range from developing sensing devices that provide secure cloud connectivity to generating information for the end user. Semiconductor shortages and supply chain disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic continue to impact suppliers and manufacturers. Different ecosystems, IPs, technologies and standards have made today’s world of connected devices sadly fragmented and cumbersome. And the development of simple and secure products remains a challenge.
To realize the future promise of the IoT, industry leaders must agree on standards to align device makers and manufacturers. IoT product, software, hardware and chip makers, whether partners or competitors, will need to collaborate to create new features, products and innovations and bring them to market faster.
IoT Growth Drivers
Industry, business and consumer needs drive IoT innovation: As technological advancements open up new use cases, certain key industries are driving the growth of connected devices. Factories and human health, for example, will account for 36% to 40% of estimated unlocked value by 2030, according to McKinsey.
Innovations in the four IoT enabling technologies (chips, connectivity, security and artificial intelligence) reduce costs and lead to better devices.
Smaller, more efficient processors and wireless components will allow connected devices to further penetrate key markets, such as consumer devices, cars and transportation, manufacturing and industry, and human health. Improved networks lead to more reliable connectivity, opening up opportunities for previously unfeasible applications.
As interconnected devices demonstrate their value, demand is exploding. Rob Conant, vice president of software ecosystems at Infineon, which provides semiconductors and software solutions to IoT companies, describes the spread of IoT applications across industries, from fleet tracking in the 1980s to industrial manufacturing and smart grid in the 1990s and 2000s. He sees the spread continuing in various businesses:
“Connectivity is expanding into more and more applications: pool pumps are becoming connected, light bulbs are becoming connected, even furniture is becoming connected,” he says. “So all of a sudden, companies that weren’t traditionally tech companies are becoming tech companies because of the value propositions they can deliver with IoT. It’s a huge transformation in those companies.
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