Recently Google acquired the home automation company Nest. Nest is a company that sells IoT (Internet of Things) enabled devices that allow homeowners to control the temperature of their homes through their smartphones, plus it sends notifications if it detects dangerous levels of smoke or carbon monoxide. This company is a great example of how IoT is expanding beyond its industrial roots.
Why would Google get involved in home automation systems? Because their real goal is to collect, analyze and utilize data to provide more personalized online and mobile experiences. Cognizant calls this strategy "Code Halos" strategies. Nest will provide Google with a much deeper understanding of consumers' "patterns of life."
In the next few years we will see widespread adoption of IoT technologies for consumers. This will include a range of applications such as smartphone controlled appliances, home irrigation systems, alarm systems, home automation systems, smart-watches that monitor vital signs, Internet connected vehicles and new applications that we haven't even heard of yet. There is and will be massive expansion of the IoT for personal use.
IoT is growing quickly and is expanding into new industries. IoT strategies are currently being used in vehicle fleets, home automation and management, healthcare, manufacturing, smart grids, ATMs and much more. Not only are IoT applications being embraced by industry, but also by consumers. In 2014 we are seeing many new Internet connected devices such as Google Glass, smart watches and smart appliances appear.
Some examples of IoT applications today:
• Tracking vehicle fleets for increased accountability
• Monitoring vehicle performance to maximize efficiency and reduce operating costs
• Viewing electricity usage through smart meters
• Managing production lines through M2M sensors
• Internet connected-alarm systems
• Monitoring vitals for hospital patients
• Home management-systems that control thermostats, appliances, irrigation systems, etc.
Recent IoT market forecasts:
IDTechEx research has found that the wireless sensor market will grow to $1.8 billion by 2024. (http://bit.ly/1i5Q29P)
Gartner predicts the “internet of things” will hit 26 billion devices by 2020, up from 900 million five years ago, and this will increase the amount of information available to supply chain professionals, as well as exposure to cyber risks. (http://bit.ly/1e57GG6)
According to a recent report from Navigant Research, cumulative utility spending on IT systems for the smart grid will total $139.3 billion from 2014 through 2022. (http://bit.ly/1ka16DL)
Senior Analyst, Digital Transformation, EBA, Center for the Future of Work Cognizant
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***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and digital transformation analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.