When it comes to the IoT (Internet of Things), the conversation may start in any number of places, but it always comes back to the data and how it can be used.
The pressing problem facing retail enterprises today is finding ways to bridge the physical with the digital. How can retailers create a synchronized omnichannel platform, reduce fraud and tighten security, and facilitate bidirectional, realtime interaction with customers? The IoT (Internet of Things) can help retail enterprises accomplish all of this and more, but many retailers still view the IoT as hype.
Estimates suggest the number of connected “things” in use worldwide will increase 31% from 2016 to 2017, reaching 8.4 billion this year. Further, total spending on endpoints and IoT (Internet of Things) services could approach $2 trillion. These estimates come from research firm Gartner, www.gartner.com, which further predicts the number of connected things will exceed 20 billion by 2020.
Connected World magazine interviewed Chris Boross, then president of the Thread Group, www.threadgroup.org, back in 2014 when Thread was a newcomer on the wireless mesh protocol scene.
“Wearables” has been a buzzword in the IoT (Internet of Things) space for quite some time now, but there are some new words—such as hearables, ingestibles, and embeddables—that are changing the idea that on-person devices have to worn in the traditional sense of the word. The purpose of wearables and their derivatives is also evolving. Wearable devices capable of measuring a person’s biometrics, for instance, are bringing these devices more firmly into the realm of medical monitoring and preventative healthcare.
When it comes to technology innovation, a lot of companies talk the talk, but do they also walk the walk? In many cases, the answer is no. It seems for too many business leaders, their comfort zones are preferable to taking risks that could lead to significant benefits in terms of cost savings, streamlined business processes, improved customer relations, and other common benefits of technology adoption and innovation. In the era of the IoT (Internet of Things), employees wish their leaders and IT departments were more forward thinking.
Could 2017 be the year ride sharing surpasses taxis? How will advances in automated ride-sharing vehicle technology and AI (artificial intelligence) impact the future of transportation? This year will likely be an important one for new partnerships between automakers and technology companies to collaborate on safety and connectivity, as they simultaneously continue to push toward autonomous driving.
There is little doubt that it’s a changing world. In the midst of mind-boggling advances in medicine, robotics, and autonomous vehicles, retail is still largely set in an era in which physical spaces and physical items predominate. This is changing, however, whether retailers like it or not.
In recent history, the drone market has been heralded as the next big thing, but it has also suffered some setbacks. For instance, in January, France-based drone manufacturer Parrot, www.parrot.com, announced plans to reduce its workforce by around 290 people out of 840 staff in its drone division. High-profile American drone startup 3D Robotics, https://3dr.com, which offers drones for industries such as construction, insurance, and agriculture, among others, also announced some “restructuring” and a strengthened focus on the commercial market due to competitive pressures from companies like market leader DJI, www.dji.com, a Chinese company that offers the popular Phantom drone series.