All over the world, individuals, corporations, and governments are working to better understand the growing technological advances that allow our society to become more interconnected. Recently, many of these conversations have been surrounding one of the fastest growing sectors in this field: the Internet of Things (IoT).
IoT is the interconnectedness of nearly everything imaginable from cell phones to coffee makers to virtually any wearable device. But it also has broader-reaching implications, as connected cars allow traffic apps like Waze to function, and tiny sensors placed in concrete allow civil engineers to anticipate urban infrastructure decay.
The IoT is a large network of connected “things” and that includes people and the apps they use. The relationships then become people to people, people to things, and things to things.
Big Data: A Defining Factor of IoT
You can click here to learn more about how sensor developments, mobile app developments, and trusted hardware and operating system improvements are paving the way for new IoT trends, but the big takeaway is that mastering big data will be the key to the future of IoT.
With the connectedness of IoT comes the use of advanced analytic techniques used to mine and interpret large, diverse, structured and unstructured data sets. This is called Big Data.
The 3 Vs of Big Data
With big data, companies have to process large volumes of low-density, unstructured data in order to put that data to any use. This can be data with an unknown value, and for some organizations, this might be tens of terabytes or hundreds of petabytes of data.
Velocity represents the rate at which data is received and hopefully acted on. With the newest IoT developments, some smart products operate in real time or near real time and require real-time action, evaluation, and response.
Variety refers, as you would expect, to the myriad types of data available. Unlike traditional data that was easily defined and catalogued, the rise of big data has ushered in new unstructured data types. Unstructured or semi-structured data types, such as audio, text, and video need additional preprocessing in order to derive any useable meaning and to support metadata.
Understanding data sets allows analysts and businesses to access information previously unavailable, but can also be a daunting challenge to incorporate fully.
When you look at current trends, companies are noticeably moving away from large data projects that can be costly and time-consuming. Instead, they are now embracing the benefits of smaller improvements.
How Does This Impact Both the Private and Public Sector?
According to Forbes, nearly 80 percent of retailers say it’s “business crucial” to implement an “omnichannel experience” — the combination of an online, mobile, and physical environment — into their stores. By doing this, they can understand their expectations and meet them with higher accuracy.
With saturated retail markets, businesses face pressure to ensure that their products are available to their consumers where and when they are needed.
From transportation to health and security, IoT brings significant benefits to the public sector. According to Deloitte, IoT can reduce costs and increase the reliability of services. For example, when you look at the transportation industry — one of the largest benefactors of IoT — GPS tracking enables efficient transit schedules and traffic analysis. The use of IoT, in this case, can lead to tighter control to prevent traffic congestion, which in turn, benefits the safety of the public.
There are things to consider when investing in long-term IoT solutions. Network World says “Before launching an IoT initiative, organizations need to have a comprehensive strategy in place” to ensure that security and privacy threats are dealt with to limit negative outcomes.
While we have no way to predict precisely what new developments might be coming around the corner, for now, we can be certain that IoT will impact the day-to-day aspects of our lives in more and more fascinating ways.