The Future is Connected. Are you ready for it?

June 4, 2014 Meghan

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Picture a world where lost hikers are found by drones; where products are 3D printed, not built; where houses self-regulate their temperature; and wearables track and measure your body’s performance. Sounds like the Star Trek, but that world is here (minus the Borg & Klingon Warships).

In 1984, only 1,000 devices were connected to the Internet; in 2010, there were 10 billion connected devices; and by 2020, it is expected that 30 billion devices will be wirelessly connected to the Internet. Pretty cool right, but what does that mean to business? If you need us to answer that, then you need to read this article stat.

The Internet of Things is everything for business, because it will (and is) quite literally revolutionize how business is done.

  • Amazon is now using drones to ship orders
  • 3D printers are printing table-ready food
  • Connected home products like Nest are making homes safer and more efficient
  • Wearables like the Nike+ FuelBands are allowing wearers to monitor their activity
  • And beacon’s are poised to transform how retailers, event organizers, transit systems, enterprises, and educational institutions communicate with people indoors

Best part? These innovations (and more) are just the tip of the IoT iceberg – which blasts the doors wide open for new Startups to enter the market.

 

By 2017, we’ll see smart objects hitting the shelves on a broad scale – products that will reduce waste, costs and inconvenience while increasing efficiency and safety. Here are some of the ways the Internet of Things will disrupt the way we work.

  1. Cutting down on commute time. Sensors built into our roads, traffic video cameras and median divides will allow vehicles to ‘talk’ to drivers – pushing the most efficient routes to drivers’ mobile devices, cutting down commute time, saving gas money, and ultimately, making our roads safer.
  2. Next-generation customer service. Proactive technology will keep a “pulse” on the health of products and “things” – pinpointing issues before they arise.
  3. New jobs will be emerge. With the rise of IoT, cloud and ‘big data’ jobs are becoming more specialized than ever. Gartner last year reported that the number of Chief Digital Officers (CDOs) is on the rise, predicting that by 2015, 25 percent of companies will have one managing their digital goals.
  4. Productivity will skyrocket. The rise of social has given way to a new age of communications and team collaboration. Value tools like Box, Skype and even Facebook have captured the attention of the next generation workforce. Video collaboration and imaging will take hold as millennials and digital natives rely on text messaging, FaceTime and even ‘Hangouts’ for true integrative communication at work, saving time and blurring social tools with modern collaborative work systems.
  5. Businesses will become greener. As with connected homes, installed movement sensors will turn off/on lighting fixtures, heaters/ac, coffee machines and even computers as humans move throughout the space, or go home for the night. Advancements that will improve energy efficiency and production, as well as save money and the environment.
  6. Location tracking will be made simpler. Companies will be able to track every aspect of their business, from inventory to fulfilling orders as quickly as possible to locating and deploying field services and staff. Tools, factories and vehicles will all be connected by location-based technology making the entire chain ever more efficient.

From health and fitness, to the construction and payment industry change is coming (rapidly). Which leaves only one question, are you ready?

For more on how the lines are blurring between humans and machine data, check out Punnet Pandit’s full post.

 

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