How Internet of Things changes the game

The Internet of Things (IoT) has become a crucial part of manufacturing and business transformation. According to Statista, the total global volume of IoT endpoints data will reach 79.4 zettabytes in four years, and their number will approach 75 billion. The IoT industry is projected to have an economic impact of 11 trillion dollars in the next four years. In two years, global spending on IoT will reach 1.1 trillion US dollars.

IDC predicts that in the next four years, the average connected person will have one digital data interaction every 18 seconds from one of the billions of IoT devices. As Gartner sees it, at least 50% of enterprise applications in production will be IoT enabled by 2024.

With the growing popularity of IoT devices, the interaction of business with customers is also changing. Take for instance using Siri, Alexa and Cortana to perform countless searches while ordering. Smart shopping lets people try their apparel virtually before they hit the checkout button. Data can be received from the cash register, store cameras and mobile customer apps and then integrated to form solutions for customer service.

IoT can play a significant role in improving the inventory management of retail companies. IoT devices can monitor when a stock is down and automatically send an order for replacements. IoT sensors and RFID tags can be installed in inventory systems, besides smart shelves and temperature-monitoring sensors. Connected, sensor-equipped robots and drones can be used to take inventory and map it to exact locations.

The ability to monitor a patient without them having to come into the hospital will surely reduce overall costs and improve quality of care since it can be done in real-time. It's even possible to perform operations or monitor the health condition of patients from remote places, even when the doctor isn't present physically.

An important area where IoT can be applied is in looking after the elderly and people who need care. IoT devices can be used to make sure that they have all their needs related to food and other articles kept in stock without ever running out. Such devices can also help with security and monitoring the health of people who struggle to care for themselves.

The successful implementation of IoT ecosystem options minimizes energy consumption. Intelligent technology also gives owners and managers the ability to monitor and control aspects such as fresh air, humidity and temperature. Imagine an intelligent kitchen that would shut off kitchen appliances if needed or sensors that would monitor how long ingredients are in the fridge to remind that the expiration date is near.

Intrusion prevention and detection systems, access control and endpoint and firewall protection can take the form of digital certificates and biometrics tools that protect IoT devices at the entrance, network segmentation that takes care of unauthorized access blocking, real-time monitoring, virtual patching and other security measures.

With the advent of new communication technologies, we have witnessed academic institutions quickly transitioning towards ‘smart education’. Thanks to wearable smart devices such as Microsoft’s HoloLens and Facebook’s Oculus Quest, students and professors find themselves well equipped in a distant learning environment.

An agricultural operation can have sensors that collect information on soil moisture and, when needed, automatically turn on the irrigation system. A system such as this could be fed weather prediction information, so it “knows” that because rain is coming it won’t be necessary to irrigate immediately, despite a less-than-ideal soil moisture.

Fleet operators can use IoT sensors to monitor vehicles, how fast they’re going, scheduled and actual arrival times, and identify when preventive maintenance is needed. A large car dealership could outfit each vehicle with sensors, monitoring their location and status in real time to help keep count of inventory and where their vehicles are.

A smart factory could use production line sensor monitors that notify management if there is a problem, or that communicate directly with robots to automatically adjust the assembly line in response to real-time needs.

These are just a few of the current and potential uses for IoT. As the technology grows and is adopted even further, industries will undoubtedly develop their own efficiency-enhancing, cost-reducing applications for the technology. Today’s networks handle IoT solutions readily, and with the launch of powerful 5G and LoRa (Long Range) networks, even the most demanding IoT use case is handled with ease.

Glow’s role

Here at Glow, we focus heavily on providing end-to-end services, to build 5G networks, which greatly facilitate the use of IoT. We have integrated more than 10,000 5G sites in the last 2 years. 5G is an incredible opportunity; the sheer diversity and scale of the 5G ecosystem is one of the reasons why it's such an important part of Glow.

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