When you hear “blockchain,” do you still think about Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies? The association is understandable, since blockchain technology provides a foundation for the decentralized transaction structure that makes cryptocurrencies unique, but blockchain is also compelling many industries to experiment with different ways an open, distributed ledger could make business better, for instance, by making it simpler, more secure, more transparent, or more efficient.
It may not seem like it’s been very long since the industry was abuzz about 4G or even 3G and the benefits for M2M (machine-to-machine) and IoT (Internet of Things) applications, but now it’s all about 5G, the fifth generation of wireless broadband networks. In verticals like agriculture, smart cities, utilities, manufacturing, healthcare, and beyond, the 5G commercial rollout expected during the next several years promises to open doors to new opportunities for exciting IoT solutions that bring new efficiencies, reduced latencies, and improved network performance.
Gartner forecasts that 20.4 billion connected things will be in use worldwide by 2020. Industry verticals like healthcare will push the IoT (Internet of Things) market onward and upward as devices become more affordable and as applications become more targeted to solve specific problems in the health, medical, and clinical realms. Innovation in smart health devices and IoT-enabled health solutions is making connected health more of a reality for more people, including aging adults looking to age in place.
From self-driving vehicles to companion and healthcare robots, some of the tech coming out of today’s research laboratories seems more like fiction than fact. However, industry and academia are working together to bring next-gen technologies to sectors like healthcare that could benefit from innovation-inspired change. In the medical realm, a movement to create human organs-on-chips promises to revolutionize the way society studies organ systems and the interactions between organs, as well as the way the health industry tests drugs and other products intended for human use.
Data is driving today’s connected world, and this is particularly true in healthcare. According to the HIMSS (Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society), more than 1 billion clinical documents are produced in the U.S. each year. With this tremendous number of documents being produced annually, there is a huge opportunity to use this information to make healthcare more efficient and effective. However, much of this data is currently being underutilized.
When natural disasters strike, lives and livelihoods, businesses, and property are at risk. For businesses and organizations that rely on data centers, these events can mean costly interruptions in operations unless proper steps are taken to protect centers from the effects of storms and other natural disasters. Studies show that taking steps to prepare for disasters in advance is well worth the effort. In January, the NIBS (National Institute of Building Sciences) released the Natural Hazard Mitigation Saves: 2017 Interim Report, which showed that for every $1 spent on hazard mitigation, the nation could potentially save an average of $6 in future disaster costs.
Robots aren’t just for the movies anymore; they’re playing a role in manufacturing, hospitality, smart home, and, increasingly, agriculture. As the global population mounts and reaches new heights, the time is now to find new ways to leverage robotics in the production of food.
Whether it’s a vending machine, a piece of equipment on a factory floor, or a pacemaker, “it” is probably better off connected. In general, the more data decisionmakers can gather about an object, process, or environment, the better.
There’s not a single place in the world that doesn’t rely on agriculture to nourish the people who live there and that’s why IoT (Internet of Things) is proving so valuable. Growing and producing food, therefore, is one of the most universal human experiences, and it has been for millennia. In the future, unprecedented challenges will test the industry’s mettle, including climate change and a higher-than-ever global population.
Data is king in today’s connected world. In the enterprise realm, gathering data from machines helps businesses gain insight into key systems and processes that can lead decisonmakers to the Holy Grail of operations: maximum efficiency. At the same time, the ability to gather data on individuals also helps businesses gain insight into their current and potential customer base. In both contexts, malicious players are on the prowl, looking for ways to exploit the data businesses gather from devices, people, and machines. Device security and data privacy, therefore, has never been more important than it is right now.