The 5 Biggest IoT Trends of 2021
The Internet of Things is one of the most prominent tech trends that has emerged in the past decade, the wide-scale networking of devices of every size and shape across the world, all connected and sharing information digitally with one another.
As with every other aspect, the global coronavirus pandemic has affected the way this trend is developing and impacting us. In a world where social distancing has become the norm, computers, devices, and smartphones are now our major forms of communication – both in our personal and professional lives.
Let us take a deeper look into the biggest trends in IoT taking place this year:
- Healthcare companies will invest more in IoT
From automated home help devices to telemedicine for the disabled and elderly, the way healthcare is delivered henceforth will be transformed by smart IoT wearables, sensors, and connected devices. Devices will be used to minimize contact between surfaces with a high risk of viral contamination, for example, in hospitals, corporate offices, and care homes. The number of ‘virtual doctor appointments’ will continue to increase upward in 2021 and new IoT devices will be developed which will allow the elderly to remain independent in their homes for longer. This will include tools using AI that detect changes in their daily routine so that their caregivers may be alerted in case an emergency intervention is required.
- More IoT in retail for safer shopping
The pandemic has disrupted retail in a big way, forcing many brick-and-mortar stores to close down and pushing online retail to the forefront of daily lives. Over the next year, we can expect to see more IoT-integrated innovative models such as Amazon’s fully-automated supermarkets to cut down on non-essential human interactions. Contactless payments and automation in fulfillment centers that dispatch inventory to shops will continue to grow, along with the use of RFID tags to track customers in stores, where the data collected will be used to make decisions on stock placement, and replenishment. Now it will also be used to monitor social distancing in busy areas of stores and supermarkets.
- IoT = more productive work-from-home
Work from home or WFH is now common due to fears of large people congregating in offices. With AI-powered personal assistants like Alexa and Google Home, we can now expect more similar applications designed to make our remote working experience easier and smoother. These include more IoT-automated scheduling, encrypted video calling software, calendar tools, and virtual meeting technologies. IoT has introduced a way where assets can be effectively monitored remotely while letting the automated machinery do their work with alerts to human personnel in case intervention is needed.
- IoT in smart cities
The ‘smart city’ concept has started to trend in recent years with IoT technology being used to monitor traffic on roads, waste management, and use of public transport. In 2021, we can expect more resources going towards building digital capabilities within municipal authorities to enable them to better use IoT-automated solutions for safety concerns around public transport, city offices, and recreational spaces. They will enable them to understand usage patterns as well as plan emergency response strategies and safety measures.
- IoT in data analytics and edge computing
Along with improved data analytics, edge computing is another powerful IoT trend that will continue to become more relevant as the year progresses, enabling change that will lead to increased speed of adoption and rate of innovation. With edge computing, instead of IoT devices collecting data and sending it to the cloud to be processed for analysis and insight extraction, the work is carried out directly by the devices themselves, resulting in massive savings in bandwidth and cost. New ways of processing will use edge computing techniques to reduce the risk created by sending information back and forth between personal devices and the cloud. This is something essential when it comes to building trust within the public’s mind to use such IoT-integrated solutions and measures.
The growth of cloud computing, 5G, and faster Wi-Fi access will only continue feeding the growth of IoT as the pandemic forces the need for remote work and data access. Many more IoT trends will continue to emerge as the year unfolds, right from voting to large-scale vaccination drives.
Read our blog on the Evolution of IoT here
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