Top 6 Trends: Get ready to meet the demand for IoT solutions

 A group of people sitting at a table each using virtual reality headsets

Smart buildings. Smart cars. Smart appliances.

Gartner predicts that in less than two years, more than 20 billion Internet of Things (IoT) devices will be deployed for both business and personal use–about double what was in the market in 2018.

That means lots of smart engineers and entrepreneurs are bringing new IoT-enabled solutions to life in 2019. If you're one of them, here are the top six technology trends you'll need to consider to ensure your IoT strategies are smart and successful.

  1. Artificial intelligence (AI) at the edge

Latency matters, especially for heavy workload IoT applications for industries such as healthcare, manufacturing or transportation. IoT devices that rely on AI to drive operations in real time cannot wait for data to travel to and from the cloud. To get faster response for real-time collection and analysis of data, AI-enabled IoT devices need to run at the edge of the network. By eliminating the need to communicate with the cloud, powerful algorithms can more quickly adjust to new inputs and make more accurate automated decisions.

  1. Demand for cryptocurrency

Bypassing traditional banking institutions with cryptocurrency continues to gain momentum. Businesses that can deal in Bitcoin, Ethereum and other blockchain apps are ahead of the game. But, incorporating cryptocurrency in IoT strategies requires some advance planning to finance and secure a higher level of computing power and storage needed for trust processing. Cryptomining–the process of validating blockchain transactions–relies on a distributed network architecture to authenticate transactions. IoT hardware at the edge that is battery-powered and low cost is unlikely to have the processing capability or energy needed to actively participate in blockchain activities.

  1. Advancements in autonomous devices

Self-driving vehicles seem to get all the attention when it comes to autonomous devices. Yet, the IoT extends the concept of self-governance to so many other devices that can combine awareness of their environments with incoming data to make operating decisions. Industries such as manufacturing, agriculture, financial services and many others will reap the benefits. As new IoT devices roll out, the importance of edge computing will increase as more companies begin to enable real-time collection and analysis of data that is turned into action.

  1. Built-in security measures and policies

IoT introduces a whole new threat landscape for attackers who are happy to take advantage of new entry points to networks. Hackers are already finding ways to infiltrate IoT devices to control their actions or use them as a way in to launch attacks further into the network to steal data or disrupt services. When developing IoT-based solutions, it is important to build in security measures and policies that protect both software and hardware. Protection against cyberattacks must be hardened from end-to-end, or attackers will find inroads.

  1. Consideration for GDPR and Other Privacy Regulations

General Data Privacy Regulations (GDPR) went into force in the European Union on May 25, 2018, imposing strict new rules on how personally identifiable information (PII) is collected, processed and controlled. Other countries are likely to follow suit soon with similar regulations. IoT devices collect a lot of data and meeting evolving privacy requirements will become increasingly challenging. It is essential for engineers to seek expert counsel on how to navigate regulations and certifications that vary around the world. Failure to comply and build in update processes can not only threaten the adoption of their IoT solutions but could impact a business' financials. For example, one GDPR infringement can result in a fine of up to €20 million or 4% of an organization’s total annual worldwide turnover.

  1. Greater Adoption of Augmented Reality

Embedded vision is changing the way humans interact with electronic devices, especially in IoT applications. As a result of new advancements in algorithms and machine learning, expect to see more augmented reality (AR) components in solutions for nearly every industry—from industrial, medical, security and automotive to consumer. AR definitely ups an IoT device’s “cool factor,” but just because it is possible does not mean it is a good idea. It is important to validate how AR can contribute to a product’s overall usefulness with a carefully considered product plan.

Smart developers know the time is right to get in on the expanding market for IoT solutions. Advance planning now to figure out the right network, security, privacy and technology options (as well as finding the right partners the experience you don’t have) puts you steps ahead of the competition.

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