The world has changed substantially in the past 20 years. The advent of the internet rolled out devices that were once reserved for Star Trek and the Jetsons, but the trend of IoT devices and a connected digital world is far from over. Even in the past few years, we’ve seen 5G, developments in A.I. that have transformed search engines and Smart Tech moving from homes to cities.
Before we see what else is on the horizon for IoT devices, let’s talk about what IoT actually is.
So, What is IoT?
IoT stands for the Internet of Things, a fancy way of saying all the connected devices that share the internet and data with each other. For example, your phone is connected to your printer. They share the network and information, so they’re both IoT devices. If you’re in a smart building or home, the fridge is an IoT device.
The options for what can be an IoT device is looking to be limitless. Every year they’re rolling out new devices that can connect with other devices. It wasn’t too long ago that thermostats were separate machines and cars didn’t connect with phones wirelessly. Now, that’s the new standard.
Why IoT is the Future
The most basic reason as to why IoT is the future is that it’s estimated that by 2025, there will be more than 21 billion IoT devices. That’s a lot of connected devices and potential pathways for cybercriminals, who aren’t expected to stop as society becomes more intertwined with IoT devices. Throughout human history, it seems that society grows along the lines of more advanced communication technology, from written language to the telephone to Zoom calls. It’s a safe bet that as more and more IoT devices are created and distributed, it is the future of data.
Let’s list off some devices and applications that are emerging:
1) Smart Cities
There are already plenty of cities that use IoT sensors to collect data on behaviors and information related to city planning as well as management. Some of these smart cities include London, San Francisco, and Copenhagen. It’s said that eventually, smart cities will be akin to subways in that data is collected then transmitted to a single source for management.
2) Grow Small and Cheaply
Is anyone old enough to remember the first cellphone? You needed a backpack to carry it around, and now we have these little handheld computers that double as phones. That’s the trend for IoT devices–smaller and cheaper. Now there are IoT devices that enable cars, scooters, and even eyewear.
3) A.I. Will Grow
Learning machines aren’t a new thing, but this is something else entirely. Think of the videos suggested to you while you’re browsing online. That’s an example of a program learning your habits to make suggestions. Any device that is called “smart” is an example of artificial intelligence. Instead of a programmer having to rewrite and introduce yet another program like they did in the 90s, the machine learns about you and tailors itself to how you interact with it. A smart thermostat knows when you tend to like it warmer or colder, music apps organize playlists depending on your mood, and so on.
4) Connection to Legislation
The law doesn’t do the best job keeping up with technology. How could it? One is purposefully slow and the other speeds up as it develops. With all these new IoT devices rolling out and new ways for devices to connect with each other, it’s going to cause some serious conversations regarding privacy and cybersecurity in the legislation. People are already noticing how some companies use data in ways a bit close to spying. That isn’t likely to go away.
5) Vigil Cybersecurity
Technology builds upon itself, and that translates to IoT devices continuing to develop as well as integrate into more aspects of our lives. If a cybercriminal can hack thermostats and smartpens, then traffic lights and smart cars can be hacked as well. We’ve also mentioned smart cities, which also poses many security threats to connected devices. If the network and IoT devices aren’t properly secured, then any hacker or cyberterrorist can bring havoc. That’s why it’s important to know what steps can be taken.
Knowing the tech market and what sort of devices are coming out enables you to prepare for cyberattacks and beef up your data security. Look ahead and secure yourself, much like we did with doors when we started building homes. As technology grows, so do the ways we further secure ourselves.