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Internet of Things Predictions for 2016

In 2015, the Internet of things (IoT) made its mark on both enterprises and consumers and became a driving force for innovation in our cities, homes, cars and workplaces. Vodafone and other companies like Skypatrol predict this momentum will continue into 2016 and beyond. Leaders in every industry are recognizing the potential of IoT and machine-to-machine (M2M) technologies as they are increasingly used to transform businesses. The Vodafone M2M Barometer 2015 found that more than a quarter of all companies worldwide are now using M2M technologies. M2M is finding its identity as a vital business solution that touches everything from back-end operations to customer experiences. We can soon expect even greater growth and increased focus on sophisticated and meaningful solutions. As we move into the 2016, it’s not a matter of “if,” but “how,” companies are using M2M to transform their businesses. Based on an interview with Andrew Morawski, head of M2M for the Americas at Vodafone, we offer six predictions for the M2M market in 2016 and beyond.

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Six Internet of Things Predictions for 2016

Leaders in every industry are recognizing the potential of IoT and M2M technologies as they are increasingly used to transform businesses.

M2M Deployments to Get More Sophisticated and Deliver Greater ROI

IoT Will Become Vital to the Customer Experience

A New Focus on Connecting the “Things” That Matter

Wearables Will Enter the Workplace

Data Will Lead to More Integrated M2M Solutions

M2M Will Move Out of the Back Office

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The Connected Car Is In View

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We have seen publicity from IBM about how they are working with the automotive industry (both OEM‘s and suppliers) to created the “Connected Car” It is all about using big data, cloud computing, mobile and social to change the way the automotive industry does business. They have discovered that the “Internet of Things” is laying in wait under the hood or behind the dashboard for sharp businesses to take advantage of. Sensors, processors and actuators are laying in wait to be harvested for their data. Then we have cell phone links, streaming satellite media and advanced navigation services. A vehicle is now as well connected as the driver’s home is. Let’s take a look at some of the projects underway:

The realities of today’s IoT market

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The Internet of Things (IoT) is being touted as the next frontier for manufacturers that want to connect not only with their physical resources but also with their customers. By tying into the IoT, companies can instantly access real-time information on assets halfway across the globe and make faster and better-informed decisions. But despite the potential benefits of the IoT, industry analysts suggest that the technology may not be a good fit — or even fit at all — for the average manufacturer.

 Growth — or lack thereof — of radio frequency identification (RFID) as a parallel to IoT’s adoption challenges. Industry hype around RFID has lasted for years, but factors such as cost and project size have prevented adoption from climbing as fast as vendors suggested. Manufacturers are still asking, “Why can’t we just keep using barcodes?” In light of this, the onus really falls on vendors to prove the value of IoT investment to their customers.

It’s a classic market problem: Vendors who are interested in [IoT] have this notion that, ‘why wouldn’t you want to instrument everything you have?’ The buyers, however, are still unsure why they should change how they detect and respond to problems. They’re wondering if they really need to be able to monitor things in real-time”

Most companies who are consumer focused — manufacturers, distributors, retailers — certainly see it as an eventual opportunity, but, right now, a lot of [IoT] is very experimental. IoT has the most potential in asset management and production monitoring.

What’s the difference between tracking individual items using IoT technology and RFID technology? Aside from the costs associated with each – Oh wait! It’s the costs of each that ‘s keeping both from gaining ground. Both technologies can provide item level identification but RFID can now be considered ‘old’ tech while IoT (Internet of Things) is the current darling of the development world. Here’s what I see happening over the next few years.

You already know that IoT is a term used to loosely identify items that have been imbued with enough intelligence and communication abilities to send messages across the internet. First of all, this means that these items are not human in the ways we normally think of humans using computers to send information via the Internet. But that doesn’t mean that some of these ‘things’ can’t be humans, or at least humans carrying with devices that do the communicating for them. The connections and the information are triggered by conditions as they change.

That information is transmitted using some kind of message format. It’s likely that the vast majority of those messages will not be in EDI X12 format. Some will exist in proprietary formats created to meet the specific needs of the devices, and I expect a larger portion will use some sort of XML format simply because of the ease of creating the content. But there’s no reason that ‘things’ that are already part of the supply chain and would normally be encoded in X12 format documents could not be produced in exactly the same format and thereby easily incorporated into existing processes.  See more on EDI and IoT

What’s the difference between tracking individual items using IoT technology and RFID technology? Aside from the costs associated with each – Oh wait! It’s the costs of each that ‘s keeping both from gaining ground. Both technologies can provide item level identification but RFID can now be considered ‘old’ tech while IoT (Internet of Things) is the current darling of the development world. Here’s what I see happening over the next few years.

RFID has been around for a while and has always (still does) had a slow uptake with regard to supply chain integration. That’s both sad and understandable. RFID came along before current connectivity options were widely available. It requires specialized readers, and has very short distance requirements for communication. But most importantly, consumers were still afraid of what it meant. Some even went so far as to call it the ‘mark of the devil’ believing it would become embeded in every person and allow unwanted tracking and identification.    See more

The automotive industry especially seems to have a lot of promise because of the number of cars that are sold and in terms of the value of having connectivity. Watch for more on this and how the “Battle for the Dashboard” is progressing.This contest sounds like the “Battle of the Bands”. See the kickoff to this contest with Apple’s Entry

 

 

SENSORS (What do they have to do with Vending Machines?)

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Recently, Mike Martz introduced us to the Internet of Things (IoT). This is what happens when you combine cloud technology, wireless networks, standardized communications protocols, RFID, worldwide IP networks, Big Data, miniaturized sensors, and cheap storage and computing power. Let’s drill down on SENSORS!
The concept of IoT originated in the Auto-ID Lab at MIT in 1999 and was based on RFID, but has been expanded since to include sensor devices that enable machine to machine communication and autonomous event-driven decision making. Sensors are appearing in traffic signals, factories, distributors, homes and even the weather. A while back I reported on XML in Your Weather. While I was primarily focusing on the METAR coding scheme to send weather data around the World, the “Weatherman” told me a lot about Big Data and things like “smart” rain gauges.

Not like they sprung these sensors on us overnight. They have been hinting” for a while. Even the movies picked up on them. The 2002 movie ‘Minority Report‘ shows a person receiving sensor-based individualized advertising messaging as he walked through a store. Director Steven Spielberg consulted numerous scientists in an attempt to present a more plausible future world than that seen in other science fiction films, and some of the technology designs in the film have become true.