Right now, the Internet of Things is a technology in its infancy. There is a network set up for devices to communicate with each other and while it’s true that you can sync your smartphone to your PC and start your car in the middle of winter via an app, these barely scratch the surface of what the coming Internet of Things age will entail. Even so, the Internet of Things is changing the way that we do business in some pretty surprising ways.
Right now, there are about 12 billion internet connected devices, but last year, that number was only 2.5 billion and if that growth is any indication the numbers will be huge. Technology experts say that by 2019 there will be around 25 billion devices, but others are predicting as high as 50 billion devices by 2025. These items are already collecting information and allowing it to be processed, interpreted and used and they are making an impact already on the business world.
Right now, factory machines are being built with sensors that will let someone know if there is a problem and the latest security technology is being implemented everywhere. The Internet of Things will also include lighting, allowing lights to detect when people are around and turn on and off automatically to save energy costs.
Sensors are changing the way companies do market research and analytics. For example: some tire companies are putting sensors into their tires so that they can tell when they are overinflated or underinflated and when they need to be changed. But these same sensors that give the driver that information can also be used to collect information and send it back to the company, giving them real data from their real customers.
Finally, this new internet is going to open up new revenue streams for companies. Not only will this new technology allow them to develop more products, there will also be revenue streams directly connected with the smart objects that will be all around us. You might have a desk that shows you advertisements along with the morning news headlines for example or “smart” items that can be upgraded and improved for an additional cost.
That isn’t all, either. The Internet of Things is going to change the way we travel, the way we communicate and the way inventory and shipping is done. In the coming decades, we will have to adapt as business starts to look completely different as it must have to the office worker who started with a typewriter in the 70’s and ended up with a smartphone and a laptop in 2015.