The Internet of Things, or IoT for short, is becoming increasingly important. Smart devices that are physically and virtually connected, such as smart TVs or language assistants, are gradually becoming the norm in the everyday life of every individual.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is considered the next evolutionary step in information technology. The impact will be huge for our everyday lives and companies. Even traditional industries, which have so far dealt with the topic of “digital transformation” rather conservatively, are facing entirely new challenges. Why do experts see such disruptive potential in the IoT? And how will the IoT change everyday life and entire business models?
Most of the technologies behind the IoT are by no means new. However, it was only with the falling prices for ever more powerful sensors, Internet and cloud technologies for processing even more significant amounts of data and last but not least with the widespread use of mobile devices that the IoT picked up speed. The IoT works like this: Sensors on and in the physical things record data transported via the Internet and then – often in the cloud – analyzed, processed, and stored. Valuable information can be generated based on these analyzes, and some of the physical devices can also be controlled remotely, for example, using a smartphone app.
From Thinking Heaters And Bright T-Shirts
An excellent example of this is “smart home” solutions. From the interaction of different information, such as the weather and the distance of the occupant from the apartment with the devices, such as heaters, washing machines or lamps, it can be calculated how energy-efficient heating and management can be ensured – while at the same time it is pleasantly warm when the resident comes home. The IoT is already penetrating more and more areas of life. Many initially skeptical customers use connected products – consciously or unconsciously. You might shrug your shoulders at the self-ordering fridge that was used as a prime example just a few years ago: too far away from real life. However, suppose T-shirts today use integrated ECG sensors to measure the body temperature of risk patients and warn of a possible heart attack based on the analysis of additional data. In that case, the IoT becomes a lifelong, helpful technology. Most modern cars are also already equipped with many IoT functions.
New Business Models For Industry 4.0
The IoT offers even more exciting possibilities for the industry. Even if the frequently used buzzword “Industry 4.0” usually only refers to the networked factory, the application area is much broader. In particular, we are upgrading physical products, such as machines, through supplementary digital services, and new business models open up entirely new perspectives for traditional companies.
An example: With the help of sensors on its wind turbines, a manufacturer of offshore wind turbines can identify long in advance when a turbine will fail due to a technical defect. This enables him to offer his customers, the operators of the systems, tailor-made and efficient maintenance services. Furthermore, based on the sensor data, a lot of other valuable information can be obtained; for example, it helps control and optimizes the operation of the systems from the mainland. This saves costs and increases the efficiency of the entire system.
Manufacturers of cleaning devices and systems continue to sell their products but at the same time connect them to a service cloud. Customers can use a dashboard to control the use of the devices, avoid underutilization and optimize charging rhythms.
Where This Journey Is Going
It is not a question of whether the IoT will change our daily lives and the strategic direction of companies, but to what extent. Whether an IoT-based solution will prevail in everyday life depends on its practical use. And whether companies will be able to make additional money with IoT solutions remains seen in most industries. It already seems inevitable: IoT solutions will be less of a unique selling point of a product or a solution in the future. Instead, those without IoT functions will disappear from the market because customers, whether private or business, no longer want to forgo the additional added value in the form of greater efficiency, transparency, speed or convenience.
Also Read: Threat Modeling For IoT Solutions