“Anything that can be connected, will be connected.” This quote by Jason Morgan of Forbes.com, is going to be, what future holds, with the increasing growth of the concept of IoT. Simply put, Internet of things is a system of electronic devices or components, interconnected with each other through Internet and capable of exchanging data and information. The devices include everything ranging from cellphones, coffee makers, headphones, smart wearables to components of machines like engine of an airplane etc. The IoT allows the devices to be remotely sensed and controlled using the existing network structure; which enables the opportunity to directly integrate them with other devices or networks. So basically, IoT is a giant network of connected things.
Why use IoT & How big is it?
A survey conducted by HP estimated that the growth of IoT will be exponential and by 2025, over one trillion devices will be connected through IoT. Another report by Cisco predicts that IoT will generate $14.4 trillion in value across all industries in the next decade. These surveys suggest towards a fully automated future.
Recently, there has been an argument that if any device can be connected doesn’t imply that it should. This holds sense in some way, but the real strength of IoT is not in performing simple things like turning lights on when a car reaches the driveway rather the data each connected device collects about it’s users. This collected data will allow consumers, businesses and industries to function more efficiently. Take a hospital for example, the devices will collect data about the patients, their status and the monitoring machines etc. which will help the hospital to work optimally. Hence, IoT is vital due to the data it collects which is shared across the network.
- “With great powers comes great responsibility”- this famous quote from the movie ‘Spiderman’, fits perfectly in the context of IoT applications as well. With enormous amount of data being shared among the devices, there are possibilities of a data leak or an injection by a hacker. Hence the responsibility of the security of this data rests upon the engineers which makes it a challenge, limiting the extent to which IoT can be applied.
Some Applications of IoT
- Smart Homes
Smart Home is one of the most searches IoT feature or application per say, on the Internet. Wouldn’t it be cool to have a home smart enough to switch on the AC whenever you enter the room or turn off the lights when you leave or unlock the door for friends and relatives even when you aren’t home. Smart homes are the next ladder of success when it comes to residential spaces and it is being predicted that Smart homes will become as common as smartphones in the coming years. Companies like Ring, Ecobee, August and Nest are working on developing affordable smart home solutions to deliver customers a never seen experience.
- Smart Wearables
Wearables have seen an explosive growth in the technology market in the last few years and with many companies actively developing these products, it is to stay for long. Multiple sensors and software are installed in these devices which collects data about the user continuously, which is later pre-processed to gather different insights about the user. Wearables broadly cover fitness, health and entertainment requirements. The challenge, though for IoT to be implemented in the wearable device is to be highly energy efficient and small size.
- Connected/Smart Cars
Connected cars is the being hyped as the next big thing in the automotive industry. A Connected car basically means a car which optimizes its own performance, maintenance and user comfort, using inbuilt sensors as well as the Internet. Major brands like Tesla, Google, BMW etc. have been working continuously to introduce their smart car solutions in the market. The time is not far when connected cars will replace the ordinary cars.
- Smart Retail Stores
This is another sector where the scope of applying IoT is enormous. IoT provides the retailers an opportunity to connect with their customers in real-time to enhance the store experience. They can stay connected with their customers outside of store as well using smartphones. The retailers can also track the customer’s taken path inside the store and improve the store layout by placing premium products on display in areas with high traffic. This would help in the growth of revenue of the store as well as the experience of the customer.
- IoT in Healthcare
Often touted as the sleeping giant of all IoT applications, connected healthcare remains one of the most potentially fruitful area of IoT usage. In the coming years, the healthcare industry will be revolutionized. Connected healthcare aims at people wearing wearables which constantly monitor their body state and functions, which is constantly being transferred to a database. This data will then be used to provide tailor made custom illness solutions for the patients. So, this not only aims at the ease of hospitals and healthcare centers but also on making people live a healthier life.
- Smart Cities
This is the most powerful as well interesting application which is creating the buzz in the IoT industry. A connected city, if ever made, will have a common Internet over which smart surveillance, automated public transportation systems, energy management etc. will be controlled. This will lead to a major reduction in many of the issues world is facing, like pollution, traffic congestion, grid failures etc. With the implementation of different sensors and web applications, a smart city can make daily tasks easy like finding a parking space or informing the municipality to empty the trash bin as well as assist in emergencies like automatically informing the fire department in case of a fire etc.
Aside from the above-mentioned applications, the scope of applying IoT is unfathomable. With multiple firms working actively in developing connected solutions, the dream of having a connected world is not far.
IoT in Salesforce
Salesforce, being the leader in Customer Experience, have put their hands deep down in IoT as well. Salesforce IoT is something that bridges the gap between the IoT infrastructure and customer experience. The IoT cloud of Salesforce is powered by Thunder, which they tout of being highly scalable real-time event processing engine, and is built to take massive amounts of data coming from websites, devices, sensors, customer applications etc. and initiate actions for real-time responses.
Salesforce IoT provides the following capabilities to it’s users and many more,
- You can smoothly gather data from every device, sensor, website, or interaction, and connect it with Salesforce customer context data to get a more comprehensive view of your customers.
- Develop intuitive point-and-click tools for your business users and innovate rapidly in IoT-driven customer experiences.
- Use the gathered data to identify significant events and trigger near real-time output in any of the Salesforce clouds or a third-party service.
Salesforce IoT is the exemplary thing which is revolutionizing the way we see Customer experience and is taking it to a whole new level.
The future of IoT holds a world where each and every thing/appliance will be conversing with each other through sensors and human intervention will be minimalistic. This will make a drastic shift in the way of life of people. We don’t know as of now whether people will embrace it or not but this risk is worth taking considering the easiness and smoothness IoT is touted to provide. Well, we will know once we get to see a connected world.