2020 has been a crucial year for everyone, and the technology industry is no different. Tech companies have scrambled to provide innovations that help us continue to function as a society, given all the adjustments we have been forced to make.
The internet of things (IoT) being one of those innovations. IoT refers to everyday devices that can be connected to the internet. These can be anything from cars to home appliances to construction equipment. IoT is everywhere today, making an impact on how we work, talk and engage with others. Reports from Statista show that there will be 36 billion IoT devices installed worldwide in 2021 and 75.44 billion by 2025. The numbers show that IoT has already made its mark on multiple industries, but it will play an especially meaningful role in 2021.
Here are the main industries that IoT will revolutionize in 2021:
Thanks to the Coronavirus pandemic, healthcare is at the top of people’s minds these days, and will continue to be while we search for an effective solution for the novel coronavirus. We think that IoT health devices and other healthcare technologies will eventually play a large role in ensuring patient and medical staff safety, assisting with detection and diagnosis, and administrating treatments. IoT devices will be used by public health agencies, epidemiologists to track the spread of infection and to prevent similar pandemics from happening again.
We think that IoT will be applicable to all of the other diseases and injuries that the healthcare system has to support. Everyone will slowly shift over to the “new normal” where IoT devices will be in every household, helping to treat patients remotely – increasing our reliance on telehealth and self-care. This means that assessments such as blood pressure, oxygen saturation, heart rate and more can be taken by patients at home, without the need for in-person visits. This can be done via wearables such as smart watches – see for example Apple’s latest smartwatch being capable of measuring heat-rate, oxygen saturation and can even create a basic EKG.
Smart home offices
It’s no secret that during the pandemic the number of people working from home has surged, and this might cause people to consider outfitting their homes with tech to make it more convenient to live and work from home.
Smart home device manufacturers have the opportunity to let people see the true value of IoT devices now that many consumers are home most of the week. Things like environmental controls, smart lighting, smart appliances and energy management devices will go a long way toward making home offices comfortable, convenient and sustainable.
On the other hand, employers our outfitting their machinery with modules that give them smart capabilities, allowing their workers to operate them remotely. Internet-connected manufacturing and industrial machinery allow factories to be managed partly from a distance, and mobile videoconferencing makes long-distance site inspections easier and more effective.
One of the industries that has been hit hard by the pandemic is the retail industry. While physical stores are never going to disappear completely, they’ll have to undergo drastic changes, not just to compete with online marketplaces, but simply survive during the social distancing and quarantine that will make our recovery efforts in 2021.
Retail oriented IoT devices can support and even boost operations in several different ways such as inventory management, advertising and marketing and theft prevention. IoT can also help retail businesses provide better service to buyers and manage their bottom line.
IoT devices are already used to help keep customers and employees safe through monitoring social distancing and leveraging contactless payments. The government of Canada has released an exposure measuring app called Covid Alert, that notifies users when a person has potentially been exposed to someone already infected with COVID-19. This kind of technology can help people feel safer when going to in-person retail stores.
Since IoT devices are connected to the internet, they are always at risk that they might get compromised. Many IoT devices have minimal security in place, which puts them at risk of being pulled into a botnet or hacked in order to take direct control.
With the increasing popularity of IoT devices, many companies are starting to build tighter security protocols into their devices.
In 2021 we will see IoT devices everywhere in our daily lives, from brick and mortar stores to our workplace and our home. These devices are here to stay, making our daily lives easier. There are quite a handful of programs that can support multiple IoT devices and most of them are lacking basic functionalities. Many users are turning to custom software companies that can develop software that supports a variation of IoT devices, helping users to easily manage them.
We’ve been in the software business for over a decade and we’ve seen how various technologies grew in popularity, while others faded into history, and we think that IT devices will become more popular in the future. We can help companies that want to grow their internal IoT infrastructure by building custom software that can help with device management and maintenance.