Where is the IoT market heading for in 2016? Looking back at 2015, we witnessed a strong buzz around the size of the IoT market, veracity of the market being real vs. hyped, the Internet of Everything (IoE), the Internet of Anything (IoA), etc. I do not foresee such assessments and predictions to die down soon. In fact, with more technological interventions seeing light of the day, the billion dollar counter against the IoT market potential will only go one way – upside. But more importantly, next year we will witness some definite new use cases emerging from the IoT ecosystem. In this post, I’ve highlighted some of the key and realistic IoT trends we are likely to witness in the coming year.
Concerns about data security within the IoT ecosystem will keep enterprises and skeptics interested
Cybersecurity threats emanating from a connected ecosystem of sensors, cloud servers, data processing networks and devices will be manifold. And users will not find it easy to use existing conventional security tools for each of the component of the IoT ecosystem. Demand for integrated cybersecurity solutions compatible across devices and data platforms, spanning both network security and physical security is fast emerging. And while security providers will keep themselves engaged in building such solutions (commencing with improving and deploying available RMMs), we’ll hear more instances of data breaches. Exposes in vulnerabilities will continue to play a pivotal role in advancing progress in this technological stream. This is also be vital because users will be skeptical of connecting previously unconnected devices to a vulnerable online network.
Machine learning algorithms, particularly related to sensory analysis and network graphs, will continue to evolve
With an increasing reliance on sensors, demand for information retrieval and analysis will go well beyond the conventional textual needs. And there will be a deluge of information datasets. Separating the majority noise from minor noticeable events will be the key for success for IoT tools. Both these predominant factors will drive the innovation for sensory-data analysis (audio, video, heat, motion, etc.) and data classification techniques such as network graphs.
Bluetooth will fight back to the top of the deck of the IoT backbone
In 2016, Bluetooth is coming up with new features including mesh networking, improved range (4X) and better speeds (2X). These features are aimed at placing Bluetooth as the prime connectivity technology among IoT developers and manufacturers community. Mesh networking is central to IoT architecture, while improved ranges and better speeds will further optimize the sensor network for cost and efficiency. Comparatively, another technology, LPWAN isn’t expected to witness similar buzz or adoption rate in the coming year.
“Analytics on the Edge” will be the new marketing buzzword for vendors
The dual factors of distributed architecture of IoT networks and its expansive infrastructure growth potential demand that analytics on the data would be far more efficient if conducted at the data source rather than at a central data hub. With enterprises realizing this, vendors would rely on using “Analytics on the Edge” as the key differentiation buzzword in 2016.
Useful use cases will emerge from the flood of startups
Healthcare solutions for patients will lead the market for viable use cases for connected devices. While we’ll continue to see innumerable new IoT devices, as with the previous years, many such ideas will get filtered out due to improbable use cases. Compared to industrial use cases where IoT solutions are bulk priced and vested with long-term returns, consumer products must justify unit pricing and value, both in perception as well as in benefits. That is why IoT consumer products will continue to register only moderate success in the coming year as well. Comparatively, I see better market traction for service solutions that will deploy IoT devices as enablers.
Printed electronics will go mainstream
Next year, the printed electronics market will remain busy across the year, with both innovations as well as surge in demand for printed thin sensors. We’ll see the tag ‘smart’ being attached to a variety of new products, ranging from smart apparels to bottles. Since a lot of these products are incrementally innovative, we might not witness many runaway successes in the calendar year.
Automatic Patching for IoT devices will gain momentum
As already highlighted, cybersecurity vulnerabilities will require that IoT devices and systems preempt and react quickly to threats. One way to accomplish that is to enable automatic patching of updates – commonplace with most software we use. In 2016, I foresee automatic patching gaining strong push as a necessary tool for handling data breach threats. Vendors that will latch on to it early are likely to reap good benefits.
IoT will embrace IPv6
IPv6, or the next generation internet protocol, is likely to ride the IoT wave in 2016. Possessing significant improvements over the past generation protocols, particularly related to end-to-end communication in customized manner, IPv6 is suited for IoT deployment. I hope that IoT stakeholders think alike on this.
Enterprise IoT will gain legitimacy as a necessity
Why legitimacy? Because several companies, across sectors, are already using network of sensors and real-time data flow for informed and critical business decision making. Bu efforts so far have been modular. In 2016, we will see early adopters go bullish on enterprise wide real-time data analytics across business verticals and functions, creating buzz around “Enterprise IoT”. Integrated technology service providers will also focus on finding ways to integrate sensor data and predictive engines in their bundled solutions. I see healthcare, energy, manufacturing and logistics as the key segments that will take the lead in driving this market. But despite enterprise efforts for a comprehensive IoT platform strategy, supplier shortcomings will not let this market see many real solutions in the coming year.
Human-assist driving will suppress connected cars as the vehicular buzzword
Honestly, I don’t foresee many driverless cars fleeting around the roads in 2016. But the tally of US states that allow automated cars testing on the roads will surge further next year from the current tally of 16. What will happen is that an increasing manufacturer focus on using sensor and data flow possibilities will result in safer cars. This will be manifested as human assist driving – a virtual assistant product. Car companies such as Tesla and Honda are likely to take lead on this. We’ll see commercially available car sensors for better road vision, collision aversion, sleep detection and more. We’ll also witness 3D printing as a catalytic tool that will allow technology companies such as IBM put their feet into the connected cars technological evolution.