Here’s a riddle for you…
What touches 17 different sectors and is being called the next Industrial Revolution?
OK. That’s an easy one. It’s the Internet of Things, of course!
This hot industry is expected to grow from $10 billion to $34 billion by 2020, so you might want to break out your notebook and jot down these key points.
What exactly is the Internet of Things, or “IoT” for short?
It’s a network of physical objects that are embedded with electronics, sensors, and, most importantly, network connectivity that enables those objects to collect and exchange data.
And now explained in English: the Internet of Things is all about taking the things we already use every day and making them smart enough to talk to one another. In some cases, we’re making them smart enough to make intelligent decisions for us.
You’re probably already using some of this stuff without even knowing it. Do you use any of these…?
- A house thermostat connected to your smart phone (Nest Thermostat).
- A doorbell camera security system connected to your smart phone (Ring).
- Fitness data from your smart watch, smart phone, or fitness tracker sent in real time to your physician or health insurance provider.
- Home speaker with virtual personal assist connected to the Internet (Amazon Echo with Alexa).
- A built-in GPS and cellular service (OnStar) that transmits if you’ve been in a crash and automatically calls for emergency assistance. It even sends your maintenance status to the dealership to schedule that pesky oil change!
If you nodded even just once when reading that list, congratulations! You are part of the revolution.
But this is only the beginning. The best Internet of Things technology is yet to come. As Harry says, truly revolutionary technology is the kind that helps us exponentially lower costs and increase productivity… and most importantly, is cheap enough to be adopted on a massive scale. When average Joes can afford these things, and use them, things get REAL!
And we’re certainly heading towards mass adoption. Business Insider estimates that nearly $6 trillion will be spent on Internet of Things solutions over the next five years alone. Yes, that’s trillion with a “T.”
On the commercial side, everything from basic manufacturing to farm equipment will be fully loaded with sensors to take key pieces of data into vast online analytics clouds.
On the business side, office buildings will be made smart enough to manage themselves, from electricity usage to maintaining the ambient temperature and even opening and closing the blinds for maximum sunlight exposure.
On the consumer side, people will never have to touch their thermostats again, or their door knobs for that matter. They’ll be able to unlock and open the door using their cell phone. Their refrigerators will tell them when it’s time to restock… they may even place the orders with a delivery service independently.
The options are limitless. Companies like Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN) and Alphabet (Nasdaq: GOOG) will leverage their massive computing infrastructure to crunch the data, and provide real-time insight and intelligence back to the machines that are hard at work efficiently carrying out their tasks.
And these big companies, and others like Microsoft, are racing to get the admiral’s share of this market. They’re taking no prisoners, and in true Alphabet fashion, they’re acquiring the little companies that are making this all possible.
So expect novel start-ups to crowd the market, and be snapped up by the big boys fighting for the top spot in this race. These small-fry companies will provide everything from innovative sensors to new machine-to-machine communication infrastructure, and even algorithms to make everything run more efficiently.
For now though, I want you to pay particular attention to just one of those start-ups. It’s already making a splash in the Internet of Things home automation and robotics industry, with its family robot/personal robot butler.
NXROBO has created a personal home robot butler called BIG-i, which is fully mobile, and can perform automated home tasks like playing music, security alerts, and making video calls.
The coolest part is that BIG-i actually recognizes your face, learns your behavior, and establishes a hierarchy of relationships with people around you. It does this through natural language voice programming, face recognition, and motion tracking.
BIG-i is constantly learning and can do more and more things as it studies your patterns of behavior.
For example, BIG-i can be programmed to spot your child picking up a piece of fruit and then remind them to wash their hands first! How amazing is that!?
Another example: if BIG-i sees a family member leaving the kitchen, it can remind them to turn off the oven!
Expect even more capabilities out of BIG-i as this revolution connects more and more objects in our homes to the Cloud.
I don’t know about you, but I’d buy BIG-i… if for no other reason than to keep my kids out of my stash of Cheez-It crackers!
Editor, BioTech Intel Trader
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