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Our Connected World

Our Connected World

Our Connected World

21 Billion IoT Devices To Invade By 2020

Gartner predicts the Internet of Things will explode and will include 21 billion connected devices IoT, 5G, connected devicesby 2020 with other connected devices outnumbering consumer mobile devices. And with 5G your world is about to change as you have never imagined. Here are a few areas of connected devices we can stop dreaming about and start planning for.

Cars

Additional research by Gartner predicts that by 2020, there will be a quarter of a billion connected vehicles on the road globally. Basically, one in every five vehicles will have some sort of wireless internet connection on the road with 5G at the center of it all.

While 2017 was a landmark year for the wireless industry as the carriers actually added more cars than phones to their networks during the year, everything the auto manufacturers are working towards guarantees this trend will continue. The car of the not-so-distant future may include a large digital dashboard and central communications hub, bringing rich media services and more information over high speeds to consumers. With 5G connected cars, all 7 passengers of a vehicle would be able to stream HD and high quality video seamlessly and effortlessly off the car’s built in Wi-Fi network.  

5G enabled cars will benefit both drivers and automakers with more information available to both including better remote monitoring and faster information processing speeds. With 5G, your smartphone could essentially replace your car’s key fob altogether with 5G speeds allow for lightning fast locking and unlocking technology that is more secure than NFC technology. Volkswagen has just announced all their newer models will have many features and tasks that can be controlled by Siri.

While this vision of our automobiles getting completely overhauled from a connectivity standpoint and becoming a super-hub for all 5G video streaming, internet use, messaging and much more, connected cars are just a small fragment of these IoT devices that are quickly becoming part of our daily lives.

Home

At the Consumer Electronic Show this year, it appears everything in the home can become smart.

When we think of connected devices we typically think of those that encompass the consumer market like smartwatches, fitness trackers, connected cars, and then those for our homes such as refrigerators/appliances and smart home digital assistant devices (Alexa, Google, Siri and Cortana). We have seen the connected home continue to develop over the last few years with more home devices connecting to our smartphones (appliances, light bulbs, security systems) and therefore creating an ecosystem of interconnected devices that all can be controlled with our voice.

Perhaps one of the most drastic changes to our homes has already happened with local TV viewing essentially dead and streaming video on demand service simply exploding. eMarketer reported in August 2017 that for the first time, more than half (51.5 percent) of the U.S. population will have Internet-connected TVs—via a smart TV or a TV with an attached device, such as a USB stick or gaming console. That figure will rise to 57.7 percent by the end of 2021.

The while TV displays are larger and consumers now opting for HDR displays in our quest for the best experience, in a relatively short time span, we have witnessed quite a shift in TV viewing habits in general. No longer are the days where everyone would gather around the TV for the local programming.  Consumers tune-in to a wider variety of content via live streaming services and they do so with the companion of a smartphone or tablet. Our smartphones allow us to instantly “fact check” and research while watching simultaneously. And of course, everyone has an opinion about a show or content and shares it freely on social media.

Now comes 5G. 5G will change everything and will connect all the devices in your home. 5G is expected to completely transform your home viewing experiences with Virtual Reality (VR) to provide connected experiences like you are actually there, when you are not. Travel the world, experience concerts and sporting events, all from your home. Access special content including face-to-face interviews with your favorite stars. Entertainment experiences will become immersive and visually stimulating to the consumer. And VR will give a big boost to the gaming industry to provide life- like experiences for gamers all from the comfort of their living room.

Businesses

Connected cars, connected homes, internet connected devices are all here and are predicted to continue to grow at a steady rate.  However, another area for growth will be in the complex operational systems for businesses and the commercial and industrial sectors.

As an example, 5G and IoT will help revolutionize how trucking companies track and manage their inventory. For business that rely on warehousing, manufacturing or storage, they typically use remote scanners and other similar high tech devices to help workers keep track of inventory.  With 5G, smart devices will be able to keep track of inventory changes automatically and allow employees to handle more important tasks. 

IoT will also help marketing companies and entrepreneurs by connecting with consumers in new ways and with more interactions, with businesses both large and small having greater access than ever before.  Smart devices will be able to track and record patterns of consumer behavior and learn from them, making intelligent products recommendations that will help build consumer loyalty.

Smart Cities

Cities will also benefit from the combination of technology paired with the infrastructure and services that will help simplify the lives of residents. Smart cities already include the European cities of Barcelona and Amsterdam. The concept has quickly spread into other countries, and U.S. cities are also getting smarter with San Francisco, Chicago, New York, Miami and San Antonio among those adding capabilities.

Smart cities will be able to use digital technologies or communication technologies to connect via an intelligent network and address challenges within city communities. These challenges may include parking, traffic, transportation, street lighting, water and waste management, safety and security, even the delivery of education and healthcare. Cities will begin to rely on technological solutions to enhance its existing process to better support and optimize the delivery of urban services, reduce resource consumption, contain costs, and provide opportunities to actively and effectively engage with its citizens, businesses and even visitors.

One of the most helpful aspects of a smart city is using technology to ease traffic and parking issues. Sensors in the street can be used to determine if a parking spot is empty, and anyone who accesses an app on a smartphone can find out in real-time the location of the closest parking spot.

Summary

5G and IoT technology will provide unlimited opportunities, advantages and efficiencies for almost everyone within the next decade.  However, the challenge for businesses, cities and consumers will be to effectively identify and evaluate the cost and benefit of utilizing 5G and IoT solutions along with the cost and timeline to deploy them.  It is highly recommended to consult with trusted vendors and partners prior to purchasing any potential solutions to help evaluate the expected return on investment and net benefit and of any 5G and IoT solutions.