2019 will see the Internet of Things (IoT) becoming more deeply embedded in our day-to-day lives at home and at work. We may begin to hear the term itself used less frequently but that's because it's moving out of the hype phase and quickly becoming a part of everyday life.
Soon, it will be taken for granted that pretty much any device we own cars, TVs, watches, kitchen appliances can go online and communicate with each other. In industry too, tools and machinery are increasingly intelligent and connected, generating data that drives efficiency and enables new paradigms such as predictive maintenance to become a reality, rather than a pipe-dream. In fact, it is predicted that by the end of 2019 there will be 26 billion connected devices around the world. Here are five predictions about how this is likely to play out:
Businesses will get serious about IoT
According to research by Forrester, businesses will lead the surge in IoT adoption in 2019, with 85% of companies implementing or planning IoT deployments this year. IoT clearly offers huge benefits to businesses. Some examples we have seen in recent years include mannequins that can communicate with customers' smartphones in retail environments, beaming information about products on display.
Devices will become more vocal
Just as the standard internet gave all of us a voice the IoT will give everything we own a voice, too. We're getting used to using our voices to control smart home devices such as Amazon's Alexa hub, or Apple's Siri. But 2019 will be the year that the rest of our possessions find their own voice.
More computing moving to the edge
Edge computing refers to algorithms that are run at the "edges" of a network usually at the point where the network touches the real world, such as within sensors and cameras themselves. The fact is that a huge amount of data collected by these devices will be useless.
Artificial Intelligence will increasingly drive IoT development and deployment
Artificial intelligence (AI) and IoT are closely related areas of technology. The IoT is useful and powerful because of the enormous amount of data that it generates. When you have hundreds or thousands of machines all talking to each other in an industrial network, analyzing the mountains of data that are created is beyond the ability of humans.
5G networks will broaden the scope and availability of IoT
This year should see the switching-on of the first consumer-ready 5G networks, that could operate up to 20 times faster than existing mobile data networks. IoT is reliant on speed and availability of data services, and today there are still many locations that are effectively "dark" when it comes to smart, connected tech, due to a lack of availability of these services.