Today, you wouldn’t surprise anyone with a smartwatch monitoring your heart rate, a smoke alarm in the restroom, or a sensor controlling the office temperature. Does that mean IoT has already demonstrated its full potential and will be slowly losing its hype? Hardly. Reports across industries show that it’s only gaining steam, dragging other technologies into its orbit to advance and evolve. So, what does the future of IoT look like? What will be the key pillars of its development?
The focus of future IoT won’t change: it’s customer experience. More personalization, more attention to data processing, improved security, and a faster pace of digital transformation. Product development will, therefore, concentrate on IoT apps, blending with AI, and decentralization. Let’s examine the forecasts in detail and pinpoint which technologies will shape IoT services in the upcoming year.
IoT in the Future: Market Overview
The Internet of Things trend is booming across multiple industries, from healthcare to retail and manufacturing, focusing on enhanced customer experience and process optimization. With the years spent with smart devices, we’ve learned to better analyze the data obtained from different sensors and adapt product development to customer expectations. Solution providers focus on improved interactions, smooth delivery, and instant user feedback that shapes further decisions and product design.
This focus will influence future investments and the service proposition in the field: the global spending on IoT-related hardware and software is projected to increase to $1.1 trillion in 2023 (compared to $726 billion in 2019), states Deloitte.
To support the IoT ecosystem, the market players are changing their approach to product development. A 2020 Deloitte report pinpoints some key adjustments:
- IoT solution users search for ways to monetize the data gathered by smart devices and create new business models
- companies hunt for technology partners that can ensure the interoperability of their proprietary systems with the innovative products
- technology providers are looking to add IoT value to the partners’ products without compromising their systems’ integrity
- research institutions and R&D departments in tech companies have begun to play a critical role in the future of the Internet of Things by ensuring real-world test environments for new findings
- the regulatory bodies are working on creating a baseline for IoT device security and data usage
These changes will continue to progress over the next few years. Proof? 72% of chief experience officers interviewed by Deloitte named IoT as the top technology shaping the Industry 4.0 concept.
In fact, IoT is tightly interwoven with other pillar Industry 4.0 technologies, and its trends and future predictions for the Internet of Things show just that.
2023 Trends Shaping the IoT Ecosystem
Far from reaching its full potential, IoT gains more efficiency and value with each month. As the pandemic pushed many companies to innovate faster, smart devices and wearables have become a core focus for organizations across healthcare, logistics, retail, and other business domains. To meet the growing demand, hardware providers and software engineers will look to these IoT trends.
An industrial revolution can happen only with smart devices, so the IoT future is tightly connected with the smart industry. Predictive maintenance, supply chain management, workplace safety, and sustainability are key points here. These are the main hurdles manufacturers will try to solve together with their tech partners:
- shift from legacy systems
Not wanting to spend a fortune on the immediate IoT shift, the companies opt for solutions that can integrate with their legacy systems. This way, they can add new tech layer by layer: gather all data on one platform, add AI functionality like alerts and predictions, and gradually automate processes. So, at the moment, the future of the Internet of Things within Industry 4.0 is not about robots or autonomous machines, but rather about advanced analytics platforms and Internet of Things solutions to ensure smooth and gradual automation.
No self-aware robots here either: at the moment, AIoT is focused on better data analysis and efficient decision-making. Just think of it: by 2025, Internet of Things devices are projected to generate up to 79.4 zettabytes (ZB) of data worldwide. All this data requires advanced analytical solutions, so AI is a natural match for IoT data-collecting devices. ML algorithms evolve every day, and neural networks progress in analyzing vast amounts of unstructured data, including videos and images. It means less hidden data, more productivity, and more precise predictions.
Apart from improving data analysis, technology providers will focus on combining IoT with AI for
- product inspections with the help of computer vision
- traffic management with smart sensors, CCTV cameras, computer vision, and AI-based violation detection and tracking
- more advanced wearables with precise biometric data and immersive AR/VR experiences
- intelligent voice assistants with better design, more personalization, and enhanced security
No matter the use case and business domain, the IoT products of the future are extremely dependent on advances in AI-based data analysis. This is especially evident in the medical field.
Due to the pandemic, the Internet of Medical Things has gained a significant pace: in 2020, the market experienced 71.3% growth, compared to the average 2017-2019 growth. By 2028, the IoMT industry is expected to reach a whopping $187.60 billion. In addition to the omnipresent fitness trackers, bands, and smartwatches, medical IoT products of the future will include
- clinical-grade smart wearables certified by health authorities
- home monitoring devices and sensors
- personal emergency response systems
- sensors for pharmaceutical logistics
- RFID and barcodes for medicine tracking
- advanced point of care devices
COVID-19 has catalyzed digital transformation, and healthcare organizations, authorities, and even end users were forced to invest in IoMT. What’s important, all parties have benefited from these investments, so the market of medical IoT products will certainly continue to grow and prosper.
Cybersecurity and Data Privacy
As IoT devices gather vast amounts of user data (and sensitive healthcare data makes up the lion’s share of it), its protection remains a key concern for IoT companies. The issue is extremely urgent: cybercriminals are increasingly abusing cloud storage, and healthcare data is their top target.
The same happens with CCTVs and digital video recorders like home or car cameras. Due to the lack of legal security standards for these IoT devices, providers become responsible for ensuring the best possible protection—which is, quite often, not ironclad.
It all means that wider adoption of IoT in the future will highly depend on the possibility of guaranteeing high-level protection. This is a task for both the authorities—to work out industry standards for data protection, and for tech companies—to find ways to improve encryption and data storage reliability. The latter are already digging in the right direction.
The current IoT ecosystem follows a centralized communication model, with devices connected via the cloud server. But IoT products of the future, like implants or other healthcare devices, fulfill some critical tasks where server failure may have catastrophic effects. Decentralization offers a solution: the computation and storage are distributed across the decentralized network, and the failure of a single node is not a problem.
So, here comes another tech buzzword: blockchain. The most evident benefits of the blockchain-IoT duet are distributed storage, scalability, visibility, and, of course, enhanced security. Decentralized networks eliminate some critical IoT security concerns: the data is distributed and can’t be tampered with, and robust encryption adds another protection layer to the IoT devices.
Tech companies are already using blockchain to connect low-power IoT devices to the Internet, build blockchain-based IoT platforms, and connect smart devices with dapps. And there’s definitely more to come. Let’s see how innovations in IoT influence the key industries and what’s the role of technology partners in this transformation.
How IoT Transforms Key Industries
With the broader adoption of the Internet of Things in the future, many industries will experience significant disruptions. Whether these changes will be smooth and welcome or forced and challenging, depends on the timely digitalization and the proper choice of technological partners. Check out how your business domain may change in the next few years under the influence of IoT products of the future.
We already discussed the IoT cybersecurity as a trend, and we’ll be talking about it again as the field is about to experience drastic change. The problems to solve are the following:
- IoT devices have limited storage and processing capacity, which lessens the number of security features they can include
- the design of IoT products makes it harder to update and test their software
One of the potential transformations here will be the adoption of AI-based automated vulnerability testing. The ability to spot patterns and analyze system performance will help AI detect a breach and respond faster, as well as predict similar exploitations in the future.
Techstack successfully set up well-protected regression testing for a security firewall product. The task posed a challenge since the testing process required access to sensitive data, and signing NDA with all the team members seemed unfeasible. So, the QA service team created a process where one orchestrator with the signed NDA had access to the client’s environment, and all team members worked in a copy of the testing environment in a separate internal network.
The healthcare industry will be significantly affected by smart devices, as the IoMT is one of the trends booming in the wake of the pandemic. In addition to the wide spectrum of non-invasive IoT products like trackers, monitors, and cameras, we will be seeing new, more invasive devices, like ingestible mini-sensors, automated insulin delivery systems, robotic limbs for rehabilitation, and more.
In these types of devices, the issues of data protection and system reliability become paramount, and it’s up to the healthcare organization’s technological partners to ensure the highest level of product quality.
Techstack partnered with a company developing a health screening application to help them innovate their product and drive sales. We designed a convenient and user-friendly interface with numerous functionalities for the clinical staff. It helps generate and manage records, track company devices, and view statistics as clear and straightforward dashboard visualizations.
Future IoT will mean a lot for healthcare:
- improved patient care
- healthier lifestyle
- enhanced preventive medicine
- better workplace safety
We are already on our way, and the trip will continue well into 2023.
The industrial IoT market is growing towards Industry 4.0: it’s projected to reach $276.79 billion by 2029, increasing at a CAGR of 16% from 2022. This pace is not surprising since the modernization in this industry depends on a range of technologies, including IoT, AI, Big Data, and more. What’s also important for the developments in this domain is that governments start introducing tax benefits and R&D investments to encourage industrial automation.
Techstack is a technology partner that brings IoT products of the future into manufacturing. We built a sensor-based system to monitor manufacturing conditions in real-time. We set up both hardware and software to collect data from temperature and humidity sensors and thermal imagers, issue alerts, gather statistics, and view dashboards at the factory scale for real-time analysis and preventive maintenance.
Another IoT solution Techstack implemented for a manufacturing company was an AI-based computer vision tracking system for production line monitoring. We created a system that identified product damage almost in real-time and notified factory employees about the detected issues with captured images. This drastically cut costs and waste.
In the future, IIoT is predicted to bring wider adoption of digital twins and metaverse technologies. Still, the initial step in 2023 will be to ensure better protection for the collected and stored data.
The task of IoT in the future in the agricultural domain is to enhance farm yield in the conditions of growing world population and exhaustion of natural resources. We’re talking here about sensors, automated irrigation systems, smart greenhouses, and agricultural drones. But above all, this industry, like any other, is about proper data collection and analysis.
Smart farming is a necessity of our times, and we at Techstack are delighted to be part of the innovation in this field. In particular, we created a POC model for the innovative autonomous tracking device. This IoT solution, coming with the data collection app, gathered data on navigation, harvest, and workers’ output. In addition, we developed a cloud platform with broad functionality: data tracking and management, logistics and contract management, product quality assurance, and weight verification. This tracking and aggregation system is an exemplary case of digital transformation where the precise deployment of IoT reinvents the business process.
The key focus of future IoT on customer experience is most visible in this industry. Business seems to be on the rise after the pandemic, but trying to cut costs and optimize processes while delivering an unprecedented level of personalization, executives across the field must look for innovation. Fortunately, IoT products can offer it all:
- seamless and highly personalized user journey from booking to gathering feedback
- cost savings via smart energy systems and water usage monitoring
- efficient HR management with the help of unified IoT platforms
- improved security due to recognition systems, smart locks, and data analytics
Working with a client in the hospitality industry, Techstack developed a set of technical solutions for order management and customer communication. The aim was to improve customer service in restaurants and hotels by automating the interaction process. We did it by creating a web portal and a mobile app with functionalities for staff, management, and guests. And it had a tangible impact: after we simplified the entry point, the user entry rate increased by 200%.
The future of IoT in HoReCa belongs to highly personalized rooms, location-based marketing, predictive maintenance, enhanced security, advanced customer services, and more. In fact, robots at the reception desk are not so utopian anymore.
The Internet of Things trend won’t slow its advance in 2023. More than that, it will merge with other booming technologies like AI, machine learning, and blockchain to bring even more value to different business domains and processes. Executives across industries recognize the importance of this trend and look for ways to implement it with an optimal value-price ratio. For this, they need technology partners who can introduce innovation layer after layer without harming the integrity of their systems.
At Techstack, we understand that IoT in the future demands a new approach to product development — and we have the necessary expertise to roll it out. Ready to get into the digitalization journey side by side with our software development agency? Contact us now for expert IoT development.