The Internet of Things (IoT) has grown exponentially in a very short period of time. Smart gadgets, although being relatively new, are omnipresent in business and consumer spheres, and they show no indications of slowing down.
The use of data-driven and data-acquiring solutions, networks and devices are no longer a luxury but a necessity if we are to achieve a sustainable social and economic environment in the aftermath of the pandemic.
Here are four trends that will impact the Internet of Things this year.
1. IoMT Continues to Expand
Especially during the pandemic, the healthcare industry has been at the forefront of IoT developments, utilizing wearable technology and telemedicine to diagnose and treat patients. These connected healthcare devices allow doctors to collect data on and provide medical attention to a greater number of patients without the risk of potential infection via in-person visits. Wearable medical devices can also be used to monitor heart rate and blood pressure or deliver insulin to patients with diabetes.
In 2021, 64% of US households reported utilizing these services, with 43% intending to continue using them after the epidemic.
Even after the epidemic has passed, these patterns will continue to increase in order to make healthcare more accessible.
2. Security Remains a Focus
As the Internet of Things develops in popularity, its security flaws become increasingly worrying. In 2022, the networking and telecommunications company Ericsson estimates there will be around 29 billion connected devices distributed globally, 18 billion of which will be directly related to IoT.F
The increased adoption of applications and smart devices (tablets, smartphones, wearables) by consumers does pose a credible risk to the privacy and security of individuals. As data is collected about their movement, location, health and mental state, this exposes them to data breach and privacy risks.
In a complex network of connected devices, if one device is compromised, every other device it communicates with faces potential vulnerability. Additionally, the physical “things” comprising the IoT can be lost or stolen, requiring another layer of security to protect against breaches and attacks.
3. 5G Expansion
5G networks deliver high-speed connectivity, very low latency and greater network reliability. They also generate more data capacity that can support a greater number of connected devices.
Gartner reports that global spending on 5G infrastructure grew by $19 billion in 2021 at an annual growth rate of more than 39 per cent, and these numbers are likely to increase dramatically in 2022. 5G networks are opening new opportunities to manufacturers including speeding-up the IoT with faster data transfer rates and more efficient connections and communication between devices. Therefore, 5G will be key to the growth of the IoT in 2022.
However, much like IoT devices themselves, 5G will come with additional security concerns. In conjunction with each other, 5G and IoT could reshape the way we think about cybersecurity in the future.
4 Edge Computing Grows
Edge computing will be a key IoT trend in 2022 as manufacturers build onboard analytics capabilities into their equipment―essentially moving data processing as close as possible to its source of origin.
Rather than equipping machines with what Forbes calls, “dumb” sensors, like basic microphones or cameras, edge devices are instead fitted with smart sensors. This includes microphones with language processing capabilities, humidity and pressure sensors, or cameras equipped with computer vision.
Edge computing can combine with these smart sensors and computations can be performed more quickly, while less data is transmitted to and from the cloud to relieve network congestion and reduce latency on the network.
Edge computing has the potential to make self-driving cars more practical while also addressing many of today’s bandwidth, security, and cloud dependability issues. Despite these advantages, it is still a niche technology today, but that will change as the Internet of Things expands.