Trends in IoT 2017
Setting the IoT agenda for 2017
With issues around security causing people to lose trust in technology companies, botnets and DDOS attacks, as well as the EU referendum, 2016 saw a dramatic change in the course of the UK’s tech industry. Many people in the sector are concerned about how 2017 is going to impact the progress and innovation that the UK is well known for.
At Digital Catapult, we’re looking ahead to what we think is going to be on the agenda for the IoT industry in 2017. Remember, predictions aren’t always about being accurate, but also about aspirations – what we’d like to see in the coming months.
As more and more devices are made smart with the addition of sensors, everywhere is going to feel the impact, from the home and the office to the factory floor. As the popularity continues to grow, technologies such as AI and machine learning will start to enhance IOT ecosystems, making ‘smart’ device capable of collaborating with each other to accomplish tasks.
Low-Power Wide-Area Network (LPWAN) is changing the face of the IOT, transferring data over areas the size of cities and not just short range such as with technologies like Bluetooth and WiFi. Batteries in devices that use LPWAN last for years not minutes or days.
Connected devices can use LPWAN technology to integrate products effectively into the smart grid infrastructure. This means that devices can be monitored and updated in real time, keeping devices secure and ensuring that customer engagement can be kept high.
There are already applications for LPWAN in healthcare, in transport and in manufacturing. As the technology becomes more widely available, SMEs will come up with more innovative ways it can be used.
A blockchain is a chronological database of transactions recorded by a network of computers. A copy of the blockchain is stored on every computer in the network and these computers periodically synchronize to make sure that all of them have the same shared database. The inventor of blockchain, Satoshi Nakamoto said that, ‘the design supports a tremendous variety of possible transaction types that I designed years ago – escrow transactions, bonded contracts, third-party arbitration, multiparty signature, etc.’
Blockchain has the potential to radically overhaul the concept of a centralised internet. With blockchain, there is no need for a centralised repository of anything – voting systems, banks, even the internet itself – through the blockchain there is no need for a DNS server because instead we can potentially have a peer-to-peer system that validates everyone else. This technology is going to play a big part in how we think about banking, security and much more in the coming year and beyond. Read more about blockchain here.
Virtual reality and augmented reality is set to reach a tipping point. Utilising wearables, the way in which people interact with the world is going to change, creating new opportunities for remote working, new training scenarios and much more. While there isn’t going to be a sudden explosion of VR into our day-to-day lives overnight, many companies will start to see positive feedback from their explorations in this area.
The elephant in the room when it comes to all industries, Brexit will be having an impact on future funding for new technologies as well as a whole host of other issues. With the EU acting as the world’s privacy regulator, passing laws which impact not just technology in Europe but also around the world as companies ensure that anything that they create meets the rigid EU specifications, Brexit may be about ‘taking back control’, but manufacturers will still need to be following EU regulation regardless in a global market.
Engineers and technologists once bound for UK will be put off by the uncertainty and issues with getting visas. London won’t be seen as the place to be, with people going to vibrant cities like Berlin, San Francisco, Boston, and Bangalore instead.
By focusing on what we at Digital Catapult think should be happening in the next year, we want to spark debate, action and adoption of the technologies that are being built right here in Britain. The IoTUK programme is well placed to make informed comments on the state of the IoT industry here in the UK, as we work at the heart of it, connecting like-minded people and promoting new technologies to industry. If you’d like to lead the conversation, get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.