Everything we touch will be intelligent. Everything will be interconnected in a seamless manner. Everything will be invisible. Technology will understand, predict and will take care of what needs to be done. Frank Kern spoke about the Three Pillars of Future Technology as Intelligent, Interconnected and Invisible two years ago and we already see these predictions in reality!
The Internet of Things is on track to be all of this and more. Today if you wish, your home can be smartly monitored and controlled by connected technology which is built to adapt to your preference.
The WEF surveyed 800 leaders on 21 tipping points – moments when specific technological shifts hit mainstream society – expected to be enabled by software by 2025 – 89.2% believed that 1 trillion sensors will be connected to the Internet. Gartner predicted the spending on IoT services will reach $235 billion in 2016, up 22% from 2015. Forrester meanwhile foresaw that the IoT is a ‘business-led trend’ and reported that 23% of enterprises use the IoT, with another 29% planning to do so within 12 months.
Few areas, where the IoT technology vendors need to still build upon, that I see, are device management, analytics, standardization and co-creation.
Internet of ‘Things’ management
Forecasts derived from analyst firms have predicted that the installed base for Internet of Things devices will grow from around 10 billion connected devices today to as many as 30 billion devices by 2020 – an uptick of about 3 billion new devices per year. This brings challenges of scale to the management task. Tools must be capable of managing and monitoring these
Estimated millions of devices at various levels e.g. hardware (physical device), software, firmware, security, diagnostics, updates, repair, reports and more.
Dependencies between hardware and software versioning as well as the architectures that can have multiple operating components, firmware, software and configuration updates can’t just be implemented without bearing in mind network wide impacts.
I believe, it is important to properly forecast any ripple effects an update may have in order to manage the system efficiently. Of course, when there are billions of devices to manage each with their own dependencies, anticipating every cause-and-effect scenario becomes very challenging. Not to mention identifying that one ‘fault’ that can bring down the entire network when there are billions of devices connected.
There has been amazing development and advances in sensors technology and IOT devices with companies innovating to address multitude of use cases for IOT. IOT devices and applications now pervade every sphere of life and business. I believe the next wave of IOT revolution is going to be when IOT devices can communicate with each other seamlessly to multiply the possible use cases. This inter-operability is lacking to a large extent right now and I see this as a major step in the IOT world.
Standards and their associated application interfaces will be essential to achieve this. Without dominant standards, the IoT could face challenges in the future. Proprietary networks are rife, however Consumers will be at the losing end of the bargain with obsolete devices and monolithic applications with the constantly competing standards, which are still evolving.
Oversights will derail business and kill some outstanding ideas as they wouldn’t have the foresight to build solutions with carrier requirements and regulations. Companies must work with agnostic languages, platforms and hardware to empower a thriving ecosystem.
There already are various leads being taken in this direction for IoT. Google is the torch bearer for Thread, along with Samsung, ARM, Big Ass Fans; AllJoyn is being promoted by Qualcomm along with Cisco, Microsoft, LG and others; Open Internet Consortium has been founded by Intel, Cisco, AT&T, GE, and IBM. Eventually, as has happened in the past, we’ll see one of these ‘standards‘ take a lead and everyone will unite and perhaps, we’ll truly start leveraging the connectivity and communication between devices.
Collaboration is a major step for the Internet of Things. Partnerships are going to be necessary for the IoT to achieve its potential as the next big area of growth. This is something that IoT technology vendors have to bring to reality with alliances. Products and solutions which will enhance the quality of experience and the quality of life for the user. Partnerships also need to exist to help establish standards.
Amazon Echo works with other technologies in your home and beyond. If you have set up any Philips Hue smart light bulbs, for instance, it can control these. These smart lights will pair with Echo, adjusting their brightness in relation to your preference. It can also work with online services. Link it to Uber, for instance, and you can request an Uber by simply asking Alexa. Link it to Domino’s, and you can order a pizza with your voice.
Similar to this, Jawbone’s wearable fitness trackers are collaborating with Big Ass fans to help you sleep better. Jawbone’s fitness trackers have a built-in accelerometer that helps the wearer measure their quality of sleep – measuring the amount of time you slept as well as how often you tossed and turned. As the Jawbone fitness detects the motions of its restless sleeper, it sends that information to the Big Ass Fan’s product – Haiku fan. The fan responds by regulating your room’s temperature to let you have a sound sleep and wakes you up in the morning, by increasing its speed and the brightness of its integrated LED light.
This kind of collaboration is a major step for the Internet of things as the real benefits are when devices interact and share information with each other.
Why Altran for Smart Technology?
Altran has a dedicated IoT Engineering Services portfolio to help the world’s top innovators accelerate development of software, hardware and network products for the Internet of Things. Altran helps clients take advantage of standard software and hardware components to help and accelerate the development of connected IoT solutions in various industries including industrial equipment, consumer electronics, automotive and semiconductor.
Altran expanded IoT services take full advantage of the firm’s in-depth expertise in software and connectivity to help clients improve the speed, quality and cost of IoT product development. The services, coupled with Altran software frameworks and reference designs, are proven to cut product development cycles by 30% to 50%. Target product initiatives include connected cars, connected homes, wearable devices, embedded systems, industrial automation smart energy and smart cities.
All of this together is our attempt to help clients navigate the challenges that IoT ecosystem presents and achieve a common goal.