As we steam ahead into the new year, the growth of the IoT industry is looking stronger than ever as more advanced, innovative smart tech solutions steadily evolve and make their way into mainstream society.
Taking a look at what we can expect, we’ve listed the top IoT trends for 2019:
1. Cellular Network Growth
The biggest development in the cellular tech industry this year, will (of course) be the trials and launch of 5G which will bring never before seen speeds and bandwidth to cellular networking. For IoT applications however, the continued development of NB-IoT (Narrowband IoT) and LTE-M technology is just as important. Built specifically for mass IoT deployments, the networks offer multiple benefits such as cheaper running costs, fewer technical complications, ability to cover wider areas and better penetrate walls, plus lower power consumption. According to Analysys Mason, the number of deployed or planned NB-IoT networks has risen to 100, with almost 40 LTE-M networks also deployed or planned for 2019, claiming 10% of year-on-year revenue growth.
2. AI for Enterprises
AI or Artificial Intelligence is set to grow significantly in 2019, not just for consumers but for businesses too. Proof that AI is being increasingly integrated into existing enterprise tools can be seen in recent reports with 20% of businesses looking to deploy AI across their own organisations in the new year with a further 47% having already integrated AI capabilities into parts of their business. In addition, 91% of enterprises interviewed in a recent report expect AI to deliver new business growth by 2023. (Statistics from McKinsey, PwC, MIT Sloan Management Review and BCG Henderson Institute.)
3. Tightening IoT Security
With attacks on IoT almost a guarantee during 2019, as hackers increasingly target applications which run at the network edge, organisations are looking to implement more advanced and secure solutions such as blockchain validation services and Security-by-Design – while also investing in more stable hardware with built in security, instead of relying on temporary fixes.
4. Rise of Robotic Process Automation
A report by Digital Journal has predicted 57% growth of the robotic process automation market during 2019. The market is also set to shift from rule-based decision-making to more advanced and complex automation, as organisations invest in more cutting-edge technology and computing. The increased number of organisations investing in robotics is partly due to the cost of robots falling with the average price dropping by 50%, making robotic process automation a more affordable investment.
5. Data Collection on a Big Scale
With so many connected devices, data in vast quantities can be easily harvested and distributed – known as Big Data. Data and Analytics has now become an established part of the business model, allowing organisations to become more intelligent in their decision making. Organisations that are utilising Big Data, implementing more agile technologies, and focusing on predictive analytics, are more likely to stay ahead of their competition.
6. Connected Cities and Connected Spaces
Our cities and spaces are becoming IoT epicentres as the “smart” trend continues to become more socially accepted and widely used. From water management to smart parking and street lighting, cities world-wide are constantly seeking new innovative tech solutions to help solve urban issues with the use of sensors, networks and population engagement. The environment, public safety, transport, utilities and infrastructure have become platforms for smart tech to flourish, with MarketsandMarkets estimating smart city growth to hit $717.2 billion by 2023, at a CAGR of 18.4%. The predicted focus for cities in 2019 is the increase of connected transport and buildings.
7. More Autonomous Vehicles on the Roads
According to the Brooking Institution, 61% of internet users are already inclined to ride in a driverless vehicle but like it or not, the technology is set to advance more than tenfold from 2019 to 2026, with $80 billion already invested in autonomous tech over the last three years alone. The focus for the autonomous vehicle market during 2019 will be the removal of accidents caused by manual errors which have made headlines on more than one occasion. Carbon emission levels, security risks and battery life are also anticipated to contribute to the market growth.
8. Connected Caring
Connected devices are anticipated to bring about endless improvements to hospitals, clinics and home services. The newly coined “Internet of Medical Things” is set to reach $72 billion by 2021, according to Frost and Sullivan, making 2019 the year for huge advancements in new and existing tech known as Connected Care. Wearable applications, remotely accessible devices, data collection and AI are all contributing to the personalisation of healthcare for patients, with the aim of delivering more accurate treatments and results.
9. Smarter Retail
IoT combined with AI and Big Data, are working together to create more tailored retail experiences for customers, by analysing buying behaviour to help increase sales and improve customer service. The biggest change to be witnessed in 2019 for retail will be the increased engagement between consumers and retailers outside traditional shopping experiences, due to the changing attitudes of historic corporate branding and targeting.
10. Ethical IoT
Questions around the ethics of IoT have been raised and raised again in recent years. With the tightening of existing privacy policies and the introduction of data restrictions like GDPR, governments and organisations are under pressure to stay attentive when it comes to IoT deployments and their management. Throughout 2019 and beyond, organisations will be better educating users and themselves on potential security flaws and human errors, with a high emphasis on consumer protection.