Wireless connectivity and The Internet of Things are changing our future. So, what’s next?
The Internet of Things, or IoT, is expanding at a rapid pace—and with 5G on the way, that trend is expected to continue. Projected to be worth nearly $2.5 trillion by the end of 2022, IoT and its growth present a valuable opportunity for innovation. Here are a few examples of how IoT is currently changing wireless—and what we see coming next.
Smart appliances are here to stay
As part of its ongoing expansion, IoT has found its way into our homes. First introduced with products like Amazon's Echo smart speakers and Nest thermostats, IoT is now updating household mainstays like refrigerators, washers and dryers, and air conditioning units. These smart appliances tap in to a home’s wireless connectivity to unlock their full IoT capabilities. Smart refrigerators, for example, can utilize radio frequency identification tags to examine a users’ buying habits to build a grocery list, and they can notify users when food is nearing expiration.
Smart vending machines are in their infancy
Traditionally, vending machines have offered limited functionality: collect payment, dispense product, distribute change, and repeat. But, believe it or not, IoT is changing vending as well. Intel is developing connected vending machines with the capability to identify top-selling items and automatically communicate with distribution centers when inventory needs to be restocked. This immediate and ongoing data exchange can help vendors reduce supply chain operating costs and improve the customer experience. However, it’s important to note that for these advanced IoT devices to function properly, they must have a strong wireless connection that allows for continuous communication.
Smart cities are the future
Smart cities are coming, and they’re coming fast. In fact, the smart city industry is expected to be worth $400 billion by 2020. To be considered a smart city, there must be a minimum level of wireless connectivity available and IoT must be integrated within city infrastructure. Simply put, everything from street lights to buildings will be tied into a wireless network with advanced IoT capabilities. The smart cities of the future will utilize IoT-powered sensors for total connectivity—linking things like autonomous vehicles to roads and street lights, for example— and seamless communication. How will we manage all the data that comes with this level of innovation? Luckily, we’ve already got that pretty well covered. According to a study from the University of Albany, current smartphones and tablets have the ability to analyze and organize two-thirds of the data that smart cities collect through sensors.
IoT is carving out the future of various industries, influencing supply chain, city infrastructure and more. With the help of wireless connectivity, these unique innovations are going to continue to move our world forward—and these examples are just of few of what’s to come.
Are you ready for the complexities of IoT innovation? To learn more about IoT’s future and how a warranty partner like Fortegra can assist you as technology changes, check out our blog on the benefits of tech support for consumers and providers!