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IoT – What’s the opportunity?

Posted by Rachel Nulty on 17th January 2017

With IoT Tech Expo 2017 fast approaching, it seems like an appropriate time to delve into what the Internet of Things (IoT) has to offer for the years to come – what are the opportunities that the industry can offer us that will have a positive impact on the world?

As it turns out, there’s a whole world of connected devices out there, ready to take over our lives and to make our lives smarter, simpler and ultimately, more enjoyable. From drones, wearables and self-driving cars, to video-enabled toothbrushes and fridges that tell you when you’re running low on milk, the IoT is changing the way we live our lives.

The industry has been generating excitement for a few years now. 2016 saw an explosion in the number of internet connected devices and Gartner has estimated that the total number of connected devices will reach over 40 billion by 2020.

Many devices currently available are practical and well-thought-out, but on the other end of the spectrum there are some whacky and wonderful devices entering the market, proving that just about anything is possible when it comes to the IoT – things you didn’t even think you needed. For example, have you ever wondered what your eggs get up to when you close the fridge door? Well now you need wonder no more – a smart egg tray has been developed which allows you to track how many you have left and even tells you which of the eggs is freshest. Or how about AI bins? With a built-in screen and thermometer, your friendly waste companion will let you know when it’s time to take out the rubbish.

AI is an area that many analysts are predicting as a trend that will dominate 2017, with digital assistants such as Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa already available to consumers. It will be interesting to see what innovators can come up with next, (though let’s hope KFC’s face recognition for food orders doesn’t become a thing).

As cool as drones and smart cars are, healthcare is perhaps the most compelling area of interest for many. There are huge opportunities for IoT devices which could contribute to saving lives in such areas as chronic disease management, remote clinical monitoring and preventative care.

Overall the future is looking bright for the IoT industry. Picture a world dominated by secure IoT devices. Our houses are self-cleaning, our cars are self-driving and we’re all healthy as horses thanks to smart phones and watches that monitor our diets and/or tell us when to drink more water.

Ultimately, with the IoT, almost anything is possible. That’s what makes it such an exciting space.

Photo credit.

Rachel Nulty

Rachel completed a degree in Public Relations and Online Communications in Dundalk IT, Ireland. During her degree she gained practical experience in the world of PR working as a Communications intern for a government body and began working at Wildfire in December 2016. Rachel spent some time travelling in Canada, where she developed a love of the outdoors, from climbing mountains to snowboarding  and skydiving, Rachel is always looking for her next thrilling adventure.