Sciforce on Jan 3, 2019
Now, when a year has just begun, it is a good time to ponder over the changes it brought and in quite a pagan tradition to foretell what the next year will be like.
Last year we wrote so much about the Internet of Things, that for us it feels natural to begin the year with our anticipations of the IoT developments in 2019.
Since the IoT is becoming not only a technical but also a social phenomenon, changing our perception of devices around us and the environment we live in, the top trends we selected also represent both the machine and the human worlds.
1. Big Data and Artificial Intelligence
AI and Data Science always top technology ratings in every sphere as they have proven their place as the symbols of the new era.
The research firm Gartner forecasts that in 2019 we will see 14.2 billion connected things in use that would result in an immense volume of data. Data is the fuel of the IoT and, above all, the key to companies to make good decisions about products, services, employees, strategy, etc. At the same time, it is not data per se that guarantees success, but the ability to make sense of it with meaningful analytics. With the massive amount of data generated from smart devices, businesses are looking to implement technologies that can help them make sense of that data. With improved processing power that can increase machine learning productivity, digital leaders will go for machine learning and AI to make more of all of their data.
2. Connected Clouds
Many companies rely on clouds to store their data, but costs for such services can be significant, and cloud storage crunches a lot of bandwidth while accessing data. It has prompted the search for new ways of cloud infrastructure. As companies are realizing that using all public cloud, private cloud, or data center may not be the best option, they are looking for the optimal mix of them. Connected clouds are gaining momentum to meet companies’ needs — whenever they want cloud-source storage, networking, security, or app deployment. In their pursuit of seamless, secure and streamlined experience, businesses will use a mix of workloads running in public, private and hybrid environments shaping the Multicloud environment.
3. Edge Computing and Beyond
Though clouds will continue to be a hot topic in the next year, the shift from centralized and cloud to edge architectures will only intensify in the IoT space in the near future. Edge computing, where a network stores data in microcenters for processing, offers a cheaper and often more effective solution for data handling. Part of the data is stored locally next to the IoT device that makes it readily available when needed so that the traffic on the network is reduced and bandwidth costs are minimized.
However, this is not the end point as the set of layers associated with edge architecture will eventually evolve into a more unstructured architecture comprising a wide range of devices and services connected in a dynamic mesh. The mesh architectures will enable more flexible, intelligent and responsive IoT systems.
4. Digital Twins
Digital twin technology, also known as a hybrid twin or virtual prototyping, refers to a virtual copy of a real-world product, asset, process, or system that can be used for a certain purpose. It is a simulation tool that works with AI, machine learning, and the IoT to improve businesses’ experience by streamlining digital data operations.
5. 5G as a New Wireless Networking
5G, the forthcoming generation of low earth orbit satellites and backscatter networks is likely to gain attention at the IoT market optimizing power consumption, bandwidth, latency, connection density, operating cost, quality of service and range. If 2018 was the year of fixed 5G applications, 2019 will witness the rise of 5G in mobile devices changing the landscape of the IoT.
6. Sensor Innovation
The sensor market will also evolve continuously with new special-purpose sensors covering more situations and events and reducing power consumption required to run deep neural networks which in it turn will enable new edge architectures and use of DNN functions in low-power IoT endpoint devices. In response, current sensors are likely to become more affordable or be packaged to support new applications, and new algorithms will emerge to deduce more information from current sensor technologies.
Top Societal Changes
1. Social IoT
The IoT is a very broad-based technology, transforming all spheres from consumer devices to large-scale manufacturing. Yet, it’s not clear if the public is fully prepared for the IoT’s impact. Therefore, as the IoT matures, a wide range of social, legal and ethical issues will grow in importance. To be successful, an IoT solution shall be not only technically effective but also socially acceptable, as points Nick Jones, research vice president at Gartner. These include ownership of data and the deductions made from it, algorithmic bias, privacy, and compliance with regulations such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
2. IoT Governance
Speaking of the GDPR, we have to say that as the IoT expands, the need for a governance framework that ensures appropriate behavior in the data creation, storage, use and deletion is becoming increasingly important. Governance of the IoT-related projects will range from simple device audits and firmware updates to complex issues such as the control of devices and the strategic usage of the data they generate.
The idea to sell data collected by the company’s products and services may not be completely new, but the theory and philosophy of infonomics takes data monetization to new heights. Data will be seen as a strategic business asset to be recorded in the company accounts entailing corresponding the risks and opportunities related to data brokering.
4. User Experiences
The IoT is changing the rules of human/device interactions usually without screens and keyboards. In future, the IoT user experience (UX) will be driven by four factors: new sensors, new algorithms, new experience architectures and context, and socially aware experiences. Besides, UX designers will have to adopt new perspectives without usage of screens and keyboards and relying on voice-controlled digital assistants.
These are only expectations showing the potential of the coming year, and it is up to us all to make them a new reality.
Gartner’s report Top Strategic IoT Trends and Technologies Through 2023 on 10 strategic trends affecting the Internet of Things (IoT) from 2019 to 2023.