AI + IoT = superpowers of innovation

GUPTA, Gagan       Posted by GUPTA, Gagan
      Published: December 1, 2021
        |  

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The Internet of Things (IoT) has rapidly become one of the most familiar - and perhaps most hyped - expressions across business and technology. It is now used with data analytics software and artificial intelligence. These integrations help businesses improve processes, boost earnings and reduce overheads, especially in the challenging times that the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has created. IoT has paved the way for smart technologies just about anywhere. It is expected to rock different sectors, thanks to the increasing use of the cloud and the development of 5G. Smart appliances, security systems, phones, and cars are now commonplace. With its market size poised to be 1.6 trillion by the time we reach 2025, entrepreneurs and businesses from all corners are finding opportunities to enter the segment.

IoT ecosystem

IoT devices don't exist in a void. A lone sensor isn't really good for anything, nor is a bunch of them, for that matter, unless they are all connected to one another and to platforms that generate data for further use. This is what we call an Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem - a broad network of connected and interdependent devices and technologies that are applied by specialists towards a specific goal, such as the creation of a smart city.

Obviously, there are limitless applications to the IoT and therefore we can speak of endless coexisting IoT ecosystems. But if you boil what is happening in the ecosystem down to the bare essentials, you will come up with a simple schema: a device collects data and sends it across the network to a platform that aggregates the data for future use by the agent. And so we have the key components to an IoT ecosystem: devices, networks, platforms, and agents.

Sensors and actuators - sensors and actuators are at the centre of the entire IoT network. Sensors are connected to assets in the form of a physical micro appliance, embedded into an IoT device. These sensors are responsible for collecting and gathering data in order to send signals or commands to the actuator. The actuator then responds to the signal or command and "acts" or makes something happen based on this signal. As an example, your office may make use of a smart air conditioning system that is set to a specific temperature. Sensors are used to monitor any changes in temperature in the office environment. If a change is detected, they send a signal to the actuators, which will then automatically adjust the airflow.

Connectivity - this is largely referred to as the network layer and talks to how data is transferred and processed to ensure seamless communication between connected devices, sensors, the cloud, and actuators. For this to work efficiently, these elements need to be interconnected in order to understand the data and respond with the appropriate action. This is where IoT protocols and IoT gateways come in. IoT protocols provide a medium of transport for data collected from sensors. Data then goes through an IoT gateway that collects and translates the data being received via the protocols.

IoT Cloud - once the data has traveled through the IoT protocols and gateway, it moves to the cloud. The cloud is a high performance compute and storage ecosystem that is used for processing and data storage and brings all the different components of IoT together. In the cloud, data is filtered, managed, and stored. The data is then used to provide real-time analytics for fast decision making about what action should be taken in response to the data collected and signals received. IoT analytics and data management - this is used to make sense of the large amounts of data being processed. IoT technology can compute all raw data, being collected and transported, into data analytics which provides actionable insights and real-time solutions that can be used for effective decision making.

Devices and interface - this is the visible component that an IoT user can use to control the system and set their preferences. This interaction is usually conducted on the device itself or remotely via smartphones, tablets, and laptops.



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AI + IoT = superpowers of innovation
AI + IoT = superpowers of innovation

Future IoT Trends

The idea of connecting your refrigerator to the internet seemed ludicrous just a few decades ago. But things changed. With 7 billion IoT devices already in use, interconnectedness is becoming a major factor in technology.

Internet-connected TVs, toasters, and smartwatches are here to make our daily lives easier. In 2020 there were six connected devices for every person on the planet, according to Cisco. A sizable part of them will be IoT devices.

The idea of IoT can be traced back to 1982. A Coke vending machine at Carnegie Mellon University was the first internet-connected appliance. Programmers used to connect to the device and check if it had drinks in stock and whether they were cold. In a way, this machine was the catalyst of all the internet of things trends yet to come!
It wasn't until the end of the nineties that the term "internet of things" appeared. One of the first people to use it was Kevin Ashton, the Executive Director of Auto-ID Labs at MIT. During a presentation in 1999, he described the idea of devices being connected in networks and exchanging information without the help of humans.

Here's how the world of internet-connected devices will look like in the years leading to 2025, according to Gartner.

Social, Legal, and Ethical Issues of IoT

A new set of privacy concerns comes into focus with the rise of the IoT. With all those devices exchanging personal information, this brings up the question, "Who owns the data?" It's a legitimate question that will have a substantial impact on the development of the IoT, according to Gartner's predictions.

Artificial Intelligence

Usually, we'd need humans to process a set of data intelligently. Considering the tons of information that IoT devices already generate, we need to come up with another, more scalable approach. Artificial intelligence and machine learning will have to handle the colossal amount of data coming from IoT devices.
Organizations will utilize AI to understand what their data means. So expect AI and machine learning to continue to be one of the hottest IoT trends of 2021.

Data Broking

Data has become a valuable commodity. Corporations already consider it a strategic business asset, and by 2023 (even more) organizations will be making money by selling your personal data. Various IoT devices will be able to collect it. These include, among others, your TV, your smart digital assistant, the light bulbs in your living room, the air conditioner, and the fitness band on your wrist.

IoT Governance

There is a growing need for a framework to govern the way data is being stored and used by IoT devices. Governance must exist at all stages of IoT technology: from device audits and firmware updates to the control of data usage. Organizations will need to fit into this framework. Otherwise, they might face legislative repercussions.

Sensor Innovation

You can expect a bunch of new IoT sensors hitting the market this year. They will allow for a broader range of events, like natural disasters, to be detected. Municipalities will spend vast amounts of money to make sense of what is happening inside their cities.
Businesses will require more accurate data to solve problems and improve the quality of their products and services. With the need for data steadily growing, it is safe to say sensors will be among the top IoT devices of 2021.

Security

Many IoT devices are not designed with security in mind, and that's a growing concern. Hackers are targeting hundreds of thousands of IoT devices because they lack basic protection.
To compound the issue, users are not aware of the problem. They will simply use their devices, unaware of the vulnerabilities that go with them. What they should know is that even some of the most popular IoT devices have weaknesses that allow hackers to spy on their personal lives.

The Emergence of Smart Cities

IoT adoption will result in the establishment of smart cities. This early, some US cities are using IoT to connect utilities, parking meters, and traffic lights. Smart city projects are now in the pipeline, a development that could only spread globally. Proof of this the increase in smart city tech spending, which can reach $158 billion by 2022 (Statista, 2020).
Smart cities do not only focus on making life comfortable for people. These cities improve the social, environmental and financial aspects of urban living. And as city populations grow, smart cities will become a key ingredient in improving sustainability and quality of living.



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Challenges in Internet of things (IoT)

For the IoT industry to thrive there are three categories of challenges to overcome and this is true for any new trend in technology not only IoT: technology, business and society.

Technology

This part is covering all technologies needed to make IoT systems function smoothly as a standalone solution or part of existing systems and that's not an easy mission, there are many technological challenges, including Security, Connectivity, Compatibility & Longevity, Standards and Intelligent Analysis & Actions.

Business

The bottom line is a big motivation for starting, investing in, and operating any business, without a sound and solid business model for IoT we will have another bubble , this model must satisfy all the requirements for all kinds of e-commerce; vertical markets, horizontal markets, and consumer markets. But this category is always a victim of regulatory and legal scrutiny.

Society

Understanding IoT from the customers and regulators prospective is not an easy task for the following reasons:
-Customer demands and requirements change constantly.
-New uses for devices-as well as new devices-sprout and grows at breakneck speeds.
-Inventing and reintegrating must-have features and capabilities are expensive and take time and resources.
-The uses for Internet of Things technology are expanding and changing-often in uncharted waters.
-Consumer Confidence: Each of these problems could put a dent in consumers' desire to purchase connected products, which would prevent the IoT from fulfilling its true potential.
-Lack of understanding or education by consumers of best practices for IoT devices security to help in improving privacy, for example change default passwords of IoT devices.

The IoT skill gap

Companies are facing a vital IoT skills gap that is preventing them from exploiting new opportunities to the full, according to Forbes (30 July 2019).
As it's not always possible to hire new talents, the option is to rely on existing teams. Training and upskilling programs need to be put in place.
The more your team members are capable and prepared about the IoT, the more powerful your IoT will be.

Expecting The Unexpected

None of these challenges is necessarily a reason to oppose the Internet of Things. Nor is the list necessarily complete. Just as purposes for smart devices will be found that we cannot participate today, so challenges are likely to emerge that we cannot anticipate today.
However, the last few decades have seen enormous revolutions produced by everything from the personal computer to the cell phone. If we can extrapolate from the challenges we have seen in earlier revolutions, we can at least mitigate those created by the IoT. If we do, then, if nothing else, we can be better prepared to meet the challenges that we didn't anticipate.

Conclusion

IoT is starting to mature and will become a full-blown business technology in the next few years. This early, you should prepare to brace for IoT's impact by figuring out how best to adopt the technology. The trends presented here can help you do just that. If you are an equipment manufacturer, it would do you good to identify ways by which your products can be made IoT-ready. For those in the retail sector, you can have your stores get ready to use IoT data. The evolution of IoT has caught many off-guard. You should get ready for IoT's pending explosion. It doesn't matter if you're running a small outfit or manning a Fortune 500 company, IoT will find its way into your organization. Therefore, keep in mind that it's better to be prepared than be left behind by the IoT train.



At Vyom Data Sciences, we can help you build and accomplish your IoT strategy or approach that suits your business requirements and your company's objectives. If you want to see how we can assist in your IoT dreams, schedule an appointment with one of our IoT consultants today.



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