Computers and the Internet have transformed the modern world, but emerging technologies are projected to cause even more disruption. As technology has evolved, innovators have found ways to make computers smaller and more powerful. The introduction of miniaturized electronics that have significant computing power has opened the way for Internet connectivity and intelligent decision-making to be incorporated into any appliance or machine.
Objects that are common in the physical environment of the modern world, such as cars, buildings, and signs, can be given sensors and control mechanisms that enable them to be monitored, diagnosed, and maintained over the Internet without human intervention.
Understanding the Internet of Things
Mechanized automation was first introduced to the world in the late 18th century, and it has enabled the changes that have made modern life possible. Full automation, however, has only become a possibility in recent years with the introduction of personal computers and servers. Further technological advances have made cloud computing more efficient than local computing, and this has introduced the possibility of systems being controlled from anywhere in the world. The Internet of Things is, therefore, premised on the idea that miniaturized computers will incorporated into machines and other objects so that they can be monitored and controlled from a remote location with minimal human intervention.
The IoT is still an emerging industry, but its impact is projected to grow at a rapid rate over the next decade. Global spending on IoT devices was almost $2 trillion at the beginning of 2017, and Accenture estimates that IoT technology will add $14.2 trillion to the global economy in the industrial sector alone by 2030. Many businesses are, therefore, investing in identifying opportunities for IoT connectivity to be incorporated into their products and services. In future years, IoT technology will be built into almost any new product that can be purchased. Businesses must, therefore, be prepared for severe disruption since any advance in IoT technology could revolutionize an industry overnight.
Applications for IoT Technology
The IoT will impact every business that offers physical products, but some industries will be impacted more than others by this new technology. The agriculture industry will benefit from IoT technology when sensors are leveraged to help farmers optimize soil quality. IoT technology will enable the construction industry to manage its workers with greater efficiency while later advancements will make automated construction cost less than human labor. The automotive industry will incorporate IoT technologies into cars to reduce accident rates by enabling vehicles to communicate with each other. Initial IoT applications will focus on sensors and data, but future applications will increasingly center around total automation.
According to Jason Hope’s article on engadget.com, A wide variety of sensor technologies are already employed by industrial businesses to streamline production, but these existing technologies will find new applications throughout the physical environment of the modern world as the IoT emerges. Sensors with Internet connectivity will be used to diagnose problems without human intervention. An air conditioner, for example, could be given sensors that detect common problems that lead to maintenance issues, and then technicians could manage the problem over the Internet. Predictive software that reads a continuous stream of sensor output could also foresee a future maintenance issue with the air conditioner before it occurs.
Importance of Data
Sensor data will help the IoT to add value by enabling advanced algorithms to optimize the efficiency of almost any object in the physical world. When sensor data can be uploaded to centralized data facilities, analysts can use this information to identify and diagnose problems in ways that would not be possible using on-site diagnostics. Advanced algorithms could determine the exact day that parts will have to be replaced, and this information can be shared with both service technicians and manufacturers. By relying on data from existing customers, manufacturers will be able to optimize the useful life and performance of their products.
Opportunities for Automation
Future IoT applications will focus on automating tasks that have always required human intervention. Appliance repair, for example, could be completed using smart mechanisms that are built into a product. It is even possible that service requests could be completed using a drone that is sent out by the product’s manufacturer or a service technician. Most importantly, service requests could be completed without any human intervention since both diagnostics and repairs would be managed through programmatic means. Similar opportunities for automation will become increasingly prevalent in both the industrial and consumer sectors of the economy.
New Technology for Entrepreneurs
Many of the most successful new businesses are founded on new technology that offers a strong competitive advantage. The IoT will form the impetus behind thousands of successful new businesses in the years ahead, so it is important for emerging entrepreneurs to understand how technology companies succeeded in the past. A good example of an entrepreneur who succeeded at bringing new technology to market is Jason Hope, who is serial entrepreneur from Arizona focused on mobile technologies and the healthcare industry. Like many successful entrepreneurs, Jason maintains successful partnerships in a wide range of fields, including search engine optimization, information systems, and interactive software.
Lessons from Jason’s Success
Ambitious entrepreneurs who are evaluating the IoT marketplace for opportunities should incorporate lessons that Jason learned on his path to success into their own decision-making. Jason Hope graduated from college and got into business right away. New entrepreneurs often make the mistake of assuming that they need to work their way up before starting their company, but the reality is that conditions in an entrepreneur’s personal life will never be ideal. By the time entrepreneurs get a relevant job and feel ready to start, the market opportunity will have already been seized by someone else.
Another important lesson that entrepreneurs can learn from Jason Hope is that referrals are critical for success. Advertising can be expensive, and it is rarely effective. Personal selling skills are key for new entrepreneurs seeking success. In today’s world, maintaining an active presence on social media can be an effective way to engage an existing network and earn referrals. Entrepreneurs should evaluate how Jason Hope makes use of social media to improve how they market themselves.
For more information on the future of IoT and how Jason Hope is helping advance this technology, read his technology blog.