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IoT Trends to Drive Innovation for Business 2019-2020

Takayuki Yamazaki
Takayuki Yamazaki
Takayuki YamazakiResearcher & Strategist - Sony

IoT Trends to Drive Innovation for Business 2019-2020

IoT Trends to Drive Innovation for Business 2019-2020

1 of 11
Table of Contents 
 
9 major Internet of Things trends for 2019-2020 
Trend #1: IoT to be empowered by Artificial Intelligence 
Trend #2: Continued rise of industrial IoT & digital twin technology 
Trend #3: Complex IoT solutions to involve other innovations 
Trend #4: Social, legal, and ethical issues to grow in importance 
Trend #5: The ever-growing use of cloud IoT solutions 
Trend #6: Edge computing to achieve momentum 
Trend #7: The era of 5G is not that far away 
Trend #8: LPWAN for IoT sensors 
Trend #9: Voice-enabled Internet of Things: a shift from smart home to 
enterprise 
Conclusion 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
IoT Trends To Drive Innovation For Business 2019-2020​ 0 
The Internet of Things is actively shaping both the business and consumer 
worlds—and it's going to be a tough year for innovation departments of modern 
enterprises. Smart tech finds its way to every business domain there is—from 
retail to healthcare, from finances to logistics—and a missed opportunity 
strategically employed by a competitor can easily qualify as a long-term failure. 
This was ascertained by the latest Internet of Things conferences attended by 
our team—such as IoT Tech Expo and DeveloperWeek, attended by our team in 
June and November 2018, respectively. What we saw there helped us to form a 
list of 9 IoT trends to keep an eye on; they may inspire your own business-driven 
tech innovation. 
That said, sit back and enjoy the read. Even if you'd already encountered similar 
lists before—like ​Gartner's one​—you will find quite a few curious observations 
here. 
9 major Internet of Things trends for 2019-2020 
1. IoT to be empowered by Artificial Intelligence 
2. Continued rise of industrial IoT & digital twin technology 
3. Complex IoT solutions to involve other innovations 
4. Social, legal, and ethical issues to grow in importance 
5. The ever-growing use of cloud IoT solutions 
6. Edge computing to achieve momentum 
7. The era of 5G is not that far away 
8. LPWAN for IoT sensors 
9. Voice-enabled Internet of Things: a shift from smart home to enterprise 
 
 
 
 
IoT Trends To Drive Innovation For Business 2019-2020​ 1 
Trend #1: IoT to be empowered by Artificial Intelligence 
The Internet of Things has grown to a scale that exceeds the human population. 
With ​over 17B connected devices worldwide​—the vast majority of them working 
off a single small processor and a thimble of memory—IoT has already become 
ubiquitous. 
Just like computers, IoT devices can be used to collect data, but on a scale that 
has never been seen before. Marrying advanced AI learning with the widespread 
use of these devices creates unique opportunities for data analysis and 
interpretation. 
Consider a self-driving car that not only safely brings its passengers to their 
destination, but uses that transit data to accurately predict traffic patterns. This 
data could then be used to build more efficient roads and infrastructure in the 
future. Or imagine a factory that utilizes IoT-connected assembly lines to reduce 
the rate of manufacturing defects in the fabrication process. 
Another example related to our own development experience is face and voice 
recognition that can be used for biometric authentication in a variety of areas, 
including IoT. The solution itself was based on another much-hyped tech 
innovation, ​Data Science. 
With big names in technology developing AI for their IoT devices—from Amazon 
and Microsoft to Google and IBM—IoT devices are already heading in this 
direction. 
AI integration into these devices will soon comprise the majority of the IoT 
market; everything from device security to big data acquisition will see huge 
benefits from AI and machine learning in IoT devices. 
IoT Trends To Drive Innovation For Business 2019-2020​ 2 
Trend #2: Continued rise of industrial IoT & digital twin 
technology 
Smart manufacturing continues to see year-over-year growth, and is projected 
to continue growing at an exponential rate. An amalgamation of technologies 
are pushing this new techno-industrial revolution, and IoT plays a big part in 
making manufacturing more efficient, less risky, and more profitable. ​Industrial 
IoT trends​ bring enhanced efficiency and productivity through data integration 
and analysis in a way that isn't possible without an interconnected 
manufacturing process. 
A good example from our experience is a steel factory that had the need to 
employ a tech solution that would prevent downtime and human health risks at 
the same time. It started as a concept that had yet to prove technically feasible, 
allowing engineers to keep an eye on factory operations and get data in real 
time from a number of sources using hands-free devices. 
Another notion that is gaining popularity in the energy sphere is ​digital twin 
technology​. Through its use, organizations can create a clear picture of how their 
IoT devices are interacting with the manufacturing process. 
This gives keen businesses insight into how the life cycle of their machines 
operates, and allows them to predict changes that may be needed ahead of 
time. According to a Gartner survey, 48% of smart manufacturing adopters have 
made plans to make use of the digital twins concept. 
Trend #3: Complex IoT solutions to involve other innovations 
While technology impacts business and drives it forward, it's business that 
shapes the world of technology, giving it reasons for existence and practical 
application. Business concepts and solutions require sets of technologies 
seamlessly working together to achieve specific goals, and IoT is no exception. 
Here are several cases where it's successfully combined with other tech 
innovations. 
IoT Trends To Drive Innovation For Business 2019-2020​ 3 
Blockchain 
Through the use of blockchain, data from potentially unsecured devices can be 
held to a high degree of accuracy. Working as a digital ledger for recorded 
information, blockchain distributes this data throughout devices connected to 
the chain, making malicious or accidental modification of data impossible. 
Utilizing this method, data acquired from blockchain IoT devices can be seen as 
reliable and secure. 
Here is one of the promising business use cases for integration of IoT with 
blockchain – a solution for logistics and transportation that enables real-time 
delivery tracking. Our team implemented a demo based on Hyperledger 
technologies and Raspberry Pi. Watch the following video to learn all about it. 
Generally, blockchain is already seeing use in a handful of IoT devices, with as 
many as 20% of devices predicted to have some form of blockchain service 
integrated into its data collection in 2019. It's not entirely clear what 
implementation of blockchain will find widespread use in IoT devices, with many 
different types of blockchain currently having potential uses in the sector. 
IoT Trends To Drive Innovation For Business 2019-2020​ 4 
However, we can single out several basic questions about implementation of 
blockchain solutions: 
● How do we integrate blockchain with other technologies in a seamless
way?
● What are the actual benefits of storing data on blockchain?
● What data should be stored on and off blockchain?
● Should we opt for public or private blockchain?
● How do we achieve security and friendly UX?
● What additional system components are required?
WebRTC 
Web Real-Time Communication is an open-source project that enables 
development and deployment of two-way communication between IoT products 
through a simple browser, without the need for special plugins or tools. 
WebRTC is seeing widespread use, bringing features and functions that would 
otherwise require significant development time, effort, and auxiliary tools. 
Amazon's newly developed Sensor and Alexa APIs utilize WebRTC to allow 
communication between the device and its user. Amazon is already making use 
of these APIs to connect cameras, doorbells, and Echo devices enabled by the 
Alexa ​voice assistant​. Products like these are making smart home technologies 
easy to use and functional without extensive excessive effort. 
IoT Trends To Drive Innovation For Business 2019-2020​ 5 
Ad

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IoT Trends to Drive Innovation for Business 2019-2020

  • 1. Table of Contents    9 major Internet of Things trends for 2019-2020  Trend #1: IoT to be empowered by Artificial Intelligence  Trend #2: Continued rise of industrial IoT & digital twin technology  Trend #3: Complex IoT solutions to involve other innovations  Trend #4: Social, legal, and ethical issues to grow in importance  Trend #5: The ever-growing use of cloud IoT solutions  Trend #6: Edge computing to achieve momentum  Trend #7: The era of 5G is not that far away  Trend #8: LPWAN for IoT sensors  Trend #9: Voice-enabled Internet of Things: a shift from smart home to  enterprise  Conclusion                IoT Trends To Drive Innovation For Business 2019-2020​ 0 
  • 2. The Internet of Things is actively shaping both the business and consumer  worlds—and it's going to be a tough year for innovation departments of modern  enterprises. Smart tech finds its way to every business domain there is—from  retail to healthcare, from finances to logistics—and a missed opportunity  strategically employed by a competitor can easily qualify as a long-term failure.  This was ascertained by the latest Internet of Things conferences attended by  our team—such as IoT Tech Expo and DeveloperWeek, attended by our team in  June and November 2018, respectively. What we saw there helped us to form a  list of 9 IoT trends to keep an eye on; they may inspire your own business-driven  tech innovation.  That said, sit back and enjoy the read. Even if you'd already encountered similar  lists before—like ​Gartner's one​—you will find quite a few curious observations  here.  9 major Internet of Things trends for 2019-2020  1. IoT to be empowered by Artificial Intelligence  2. Continued rise of industrial IoT & digital twin technology  3. Complex IoT solutions to involve other innovations  4. Social, legal, and ethical issues to grow in importance  5. The ever-growing use of cloud IoT solutions  6. Edge computing to achieve momentum  7. The era of 5G is not that far away  8. LPWAN for IoT sensors  9. Voice-enabled Internet of Things: a shift from smart home to enterprise          IoT Trends To Drive Innovation For Business 2019-2020​ 1 
  • 3. Trend #1: IoT to be empowered by Artificial Intelligence  The Internet of Things has grown to a scale that exceeds the human population.  With ​over 17B connected devices worldwide​—the vast majority of them working  off a single small processor and a thimble of memory—IoT has already become  ubiquitous.  Just like computers, IoT devices can be used to collect data, but on a scale that  has never been seen before. Marrying advanced AI learning with the widespread  use of these devices creates unique opportunities for data analysis and  interpretation.  Consider a self-driving car that not only safely brings its passengers to their  destination, but uses that transit data to accurately predict traffic patterns. This  data could then be used to build more efficient roads and infrastructure in the  future. Or imagine a factory that utilizes IoT-connected assembly lines to reduce  the rate of manufacturing defects in the fabrication process.  Another example related to our own development experience is face and voice  recognition that can be used for biometric authentication in a variety of areas,  including IoT. The solution itself was based on another much-hyped tech  innovation, ​Data Science.  With big names in technology developing AI for their IoT devices—from Amazon  and Microsoft to Google and IBM—IoT devices are already heading in this  direction.  AI integration into these devices will soon comprise the majority of the IoT  market; everything from device security to big data acquisition will see huge  benefits from AI and machine learning in IoT devices.  IoT Trends To Drive Innovation For Business 2019-2020​ 2 
  • 4. Trend #2: Continued rise of industrial IoT & digital twin  technology  Smart manufacturing continues to see year-over-year growth, and is projected  to continue growing at an exponential rate. An amalgamation of technologies  are pushing this new techno-industrial revolution, and IoT plays a big part in  making manufacturing more efficient, less risky, and more profitable. ​Industrial  IoT trends​ bring enhanced efficiency and productivity through data integration  and analysis in a way that isn't possible without an interconnected  manufacturing process.  A good example from our experience is a steel factory that had the need to  employ a tech solution that would prevent downtime and human health risks at  the same time. It started as a concept that had yet to prove technically feasible,  allowing engineers to keep an eye on factory operations and get data in real  time from a number of sources using hands-free devices.  Another notion that is gaining popularity in the energy sphere is ​digital twin  technology​. Through its use, organizations can create a clear picture of how their  IoT devices are interacting with the manufacturing process.  This gives keen businesses insight into how the life cycle of their machines  operates, and allows them to predict changes that may be needed ahead of  time. According to a Gartner survey, 48% of smart manufacturing adopters have  made plans to make use of the digital twins concept.  Trend #3: Complex IoT solutions to involve other innovations  While technology impacts business and drives it forward, it's business that  shapes the world of technology, giving it reasons for existence and practical  application. Business concepts and solutions require sets of technologies  seamlessly working together to achieve specific goals, and IoT is no exception.  Here are several cases where it's successfully combined with other tech  innovations.  IoT Trends To Drive Innovation For Business 2019-2020​ 3 
  • 5. Blockchain  Through the use of blockchain, data from potentially unsecured devices can be  held to a high degree of accuracy. Working as a digital ledger for recorded  information, blockchain distributes this data throughout devices connected to  the chain, making malicious or accidental modification of data impossible.  Utilizing this method, data acquired from blockchain IoT devices can be seen as  reliable and secure.  Here is one of the promising business use cases for integration of IoT with  blockchain – a solution for logistics and transportation that enables real-time  delivery tracking. Our team implemented a demo based on Hyperledger  technologies and Raspberry Pi. Watch the following video to learn all about it.  Generally, blockchain is already seeing use in a handful of IoT devices, with as  many as 20% of devices predicted to have some form of blockchain service  integrated into its data collection in 2019. It's not entirely clear what  implementation of blockchain will find widespread use in IoT devices, with many  different types of blockchain currently having potential uses in the sector.  IoT Trends To Drive Innovation For Business 2019-2020​ 4 
  • 6. However, we can single out several basic questions about implementation of  blockchain solutions:  ● How do we integrate blockchain with other technologies in a seamless way? ● What are the actual benefits of storing data on blockchain? ● What data should be stored on and off blockchain? ● Should we opt for public or private blockchain? ● How do we achieve security and friendly UX? ● What additional system components are required? WebRTC  Web Real-Time Communication is an open-source project that enables  development and deployment of two-way communication between IoT products  through a simple browser, without the need for special plugins or tools.  WebRTC is seeing widespread use, bringing features and functions that would  otherwise require significant development time, effort, and auxiliary tools.  Amazon's newly developed Sensor and Alexa APIs utilize WebRTC to allow  communication between the device and its user. Amazon is already making use  of these APIs to connect cameras, doorbells, and Echo devices enabled by the  Alexa ​voice assistant​. Products like these are making smart home technologies  easy to use and functional without extensive excessive effort.  IoT Trends To Drive Innovation For Business 2019-2020​ 5 
  • 7. Trend #4: Social, legal, and ethical issues to grow in importance  IoT devices are a largely unregulated new technology. As a burgeoning new way  to apply information technology, IoT will inevitably find itself facing social and  legal questions in the near future.   This is particularly relevant for data collected by these devices, which may soon  find itself falling under the umbrella of the ​General Data Protection Regulation  (GDPR). This regulation regarding the handling of personal data and privacy in  the European Union, the GDPR extends its reach beyond the European region.  Any business that wants to successfully operate within the EU will need to  comply with the guidelines laid out in its 88-page document.  In order to comply with any forthcoming GDPR regulations, IoT developers will  need to take these questions and concerns into consideration when designing  new products. Since so much of IoT device interaction is handled without a kind  of GUI, where collected data goes, how it's handled, and who ultimately owns  the rights to it are questions that will very soon need clear answers. Transparent  disclosures on collected IoT data is very likely to be a part of future GDPR  guidelines.  Security issues are essential when it comes to legal regulation of personal data.  Development teams can ensure the required level of security and compliance on  various levels, including data encryption, active consent, various means of  verification and other mechanisms. Their goal is to collect data legitimately and  keep its accessibility, processing, and storage to a minimum that is dictated by  the software product.  While any new GDPR resolutions related to IoT devices are sure to make waves  within the community, it's not something developers should shy away from.  Customer privacy and clearly made intentions for collected data will give new  adopters for the technology more confidence in purchasing IoT devices.   IoT Trends To Drive Innovation For Business 2019-2020​ 6 
  • 8. Privacy and security is something that, until recently, has been a genuine  concern for many investors looking into the tech. Standards and guidelines to  govern these devices may be the extra nudge that wary adopters need to dive in.  This becomes even more poignant when infrastructure-critical IoT devices, like  those used in many city utilities, are taken into consideration. When everything  from dam controls to public transit is on the table for IoT implementations, the  need for strong cybersecurity becomes readily apparent.   It's already been demonstrated that vulnerabilities in these systems could cause  huge problems without strong security being built-in to these devices.  California has already started implementing IoT-related security standards, the  first law passed in September 2018. It sets security standards for devices sold in  the state of California. As one of the primary markets for IoT manufacturing and  sales, these regulations should help drive forward security standards for IoT  devices. The new law will take effect on January 1, 2020.  Trend #5: The ever-growing use of cloud IoT solutions  Cloud solutions for IoT devices are also seeing a rise in popularity. It's not  surprising that the 2018 IoT Developer survey found Amazon's AWS and  Microsoft's Azure cloud services to be the top choices for cloud development of  IoT products, especially the former. As two of the leading cloud service  providers, Azure and AWS have the infrastructure, marketing, and accessibility  demanded by the fast release of new IoT devices.  Microsoft announced its new Azure IoT Central platform in 2018, allowing for  secure communication between devices and the cloud. This new service will fill  the need for what is essentially a software plug-and-play solution for connecting  IoT firmware to the cloud. Microsoft will continue to invest in its IoT  infrastructure, lobbying their clear support for the future of IoT and the potential  it brings.  IoT Trends To Drive Innovation For Business 2019-2020​ 7 
  • 9. Trend #6: Edge computing to achieve momentum  When cloud computing isn't an option, edge computing is poised to step in.  Always-on connectivity isn't a feasible solution in every scenario. Extremely  mobile IoT devices or those that function far from the luxury of full network  integration need a solution that can still handle data-processing, analysis, and  execution.  In recent years the focus on edge computing has turned up early programs from  Microsoft, Google, and Amazon, with a long list of others following suit. The  ever-increasing demand for smart IoT technology has driven the advancement  of these programs, highlighting the need for edge computational chips that can  take the computing power of the cloud and bring it anywhere in a secure  manner.  Amazon is already making a convincing case for edge computing solutions, with  their ​AWS IoT​ Greengrass service giving developers the power to use the  Lambda functions with edge devices. This lets developers perform machine  learning and computer tasks within IoT devices.  Trend #7: The era of 5G is not that far away  5G standards offer even more potential for IoT devices, with mobile  communication for embedded devices benefiting from the drastically reduced  latency and reliability. Although 5G still remains pretty far from mainstream  adoption, enterprises might consider undertaking this rather costly deployment  endeavor—naturally, having a solid business plan at hand.  IoT Trends To Drive Innovation For Business 2019-2020​ 8 
  • 10. Reduced latency will let connected IoT devices send and receive data faster than  ever before, allowing for the analysis and management of data to function at a  level not possible on current 4G networks. The list of applications for the  technology in embedded devices is long. Any application that needs rapid,  no-compromises computing in as little time as possible will reap huge benefits  from the technology.   The transportation sector will undoubtedly find quick integration for 5G-enabled  devices, as will organizations working on logistics or infrastructure.  Trend #8: LPWAN for IoT sensors  Advancements in the Low-Power Wide-Area Network (LPWAN) technology offer  even more functionality for IoT devices. The extremely low power consumption  and large effective range of LPWAN makes it an ideal solution from small devices  that need a high operating lifespan in remote locations. Any device that can  function with the low transmission rate of LPWAN, like small sensors, can see  successful integration with LPWAN connectivity. Devices connected in this  fashion are projected to number over a billion by 2023.  Trend #9: Voice-enabled Internet of Things: a shift from smart  home to enterprise  Recent studies have shown that voice-enabled assistants continue to see market  growth. Products that use these systems—such as Amazon's Echo Dot utilizing  Alexa—are likely to be a driving force for smart home growth, with  voice-assistant use on track to reach nearly 300M devices sold by 2023. Alexa  integration continues to dominate the US market, but Google's competing  Google Home is currently leading outside the US, showing real potential for  further expansion.  IoT Trends To Drive Innovation For Business 2019-2020​ 9 
  • 11. These voice-assistant devices have other applications as well. Expanding beyond  the home market, voice-assistant technology has applications in the industrial  sector, utilizing hands-free control to rapidly track processes and lower the costs  of maintenance and management. This kind of integration with the industrial IoT  gives businesses an easy-to-use method of communication between devices and  their end users.  Let's not forget about the connected worker concept, which involves extensive  use of ​enterprise-focused wearables​.   Solutions for biometric authentication, already mentioned above, are also  contributing to market growth, with these voice-assistant systems providing a  convenient method of authentication for secure platforms. As a natural platform  for the integration of biometric security, voice-assistant technology is already  being used for these applications.  Conclusion  There's a lot more to the current and future trends being seen in IoT  development. The few applications and innovations found here are just the  beginning of what's possible with a truly inter-connected world, a future that  isn't that far off when the inevitable wide adoption of IoT devices takes place.  The use cases for these devices will only continue to grow and expand in the  coming years. Organizations that can take advantage of the unique capabilities  delivered by IoT devices will soon see even more features, functionality, and  productivity from their IoT-connected ecosystems.  IoT Trends To Drive Innovation For Business 2019-2020​ 10