How many devices do you use every day? If you’re like the average person, you have a phone, a computer, a tablet, and a few other devices that you’ve upgraded in the last few years and now happen to be connected to the internet. Maybe it’s your TV or smartwatch or you got a free Google Home. The number of devices we use today will pale in comparison to the gadgets we’ll collect over the next few years.
In 2019, there were 14.2 billion things connected to the internet. By 2021, there will be 25 billion devices online and that doesn’t count those available but not yet connected.
It’s safe to say that the IoT and related advances like artificial intelligence (AI) won’t just change the lives of the everyday consumer but it will change the way we work as well. Almost every sector of the economy stands to change as a result of the influx of new devices (including sensors and beacons). Three of those sectors include real estate, healthcare, and the automotive industry.
The IoT’s application in homes is already apparent. We’re already asking our Alexas and Google Homes to turn off the lights and turn up the music. People are also securing their homes with cloud-based cameras systems that can be connected to mobile devices and other home devices thereby opening up a sector of home privacy that was previously relegated only to commercial landlords and those with deep pockets. But will smart homes bleed into the real estate sector? The answer appears to be yes.
Start-ups are using data and IoT devices to reinvigorate tired processes like property valuation and house hunting. Research suggests that customers will change their interaction with property valuation data in the future. For example, HouseCanary uses IoT device data for not only current evaluations of a house and property but also a predictive look at the place. Agents can pass on the data to buyers, and lenders for a better look at the property before taking the plunge. The process should remove those surprises that turn up not only during the home inspection but a few months or years into their life in the new home.
Beacons are also making house hunting more interactive and independent. BeaconSage allows clients to view a property with the use of carefully placed IoT beacons and the right app. They can use beacons to deliver data to buyers’ mobile phones. More importantly, they can use beacons to personalize the buying process. A savvy agent can set up the beacons to deliver the information that’s most important to their clients.
Healthcare is and will continue to be one of the biggest beneficiaries of cloud-based mobile connections and everything that comes with them. Almost every aspect of healthcare is touched in some way by mobile health technology if it hasn’t already: regulation, research, and care will all benefit.
One of the most interesting changes will be in the improvement of remote care. Telehealth and other remote care services are already well integrated into modern practice. They are even influencing hiring trends in the healthcare industry. Because of technological advances in the industry, telehealth is going to account for a large chunk of the 50K+ job openings predicted in the next year.
Furthermore, one of the most ubiquitous uses of tech in healthcare is utilizing secure video links to bring patients and doctors together, removing barriers and reducing costs. But the IoT takes things much further by introducing easy-to-use monitoring devices.
Internet- and Bluetooth-enabled devices will report up-to-date health information from a patients’ home to their health care provider. In one randomized clinical trial, patients used scales and blood pressure cuffs along with an app to send updates of their symptoms and responses to cancer treatment. Patients who used the monitoring system reported less severe symptoms compared to the patient group who physically traveled to their doctor once a week. Why? Because patients were able to point out their symptoms quickly, which made treatment more responsive.
Wifi-enabled vehicles are old news at this point, even if it’s still an add-on rather than a core feature. But the impact of the IoT on the automotive industry is emerging because the possibilities the IoT offers for improvement are endless.
Automotive manufacturers are already playing around with it to complement onboard computers with sophisticated scanners that download a vehicle’s data and diagnose potential issues. These scanners pass up to 100 million lines of code from a vehicle to a diagnostic center that reports back to a repair shop. In the long run, these reports can save both consumers and vendors money by cutting down time spent trying to manually search for an electronic issue that the system could find in 30 minutes.
The great thing about the IoT is that you’ll also have the option to integrate third-party devices with the legacy tech developed by automotive manufacturers. For example, remote start is a long-standing use of IoT tech, but with TapKey, you can use an app that turns your smartphone (or another device) into a car key, which means you never need to hunt for your keys again. Of course, there’s still some work to do: if your phone disappears, you’ll need to be able to get to another phone to switch the lock.
It’s not hard to see the IoT is on its way to changing the way we live and work (but it’s not without risks). What’s more, we’re just getting started. With billions more devices on the way, the possibilities are endless no matter what your industry.
About the author: Jori Hamilton is a freelance writer residing in the Northwestern U.S. Coming from a marketing background, Jori took interest in blogging and content marketing and quickly found a particular interest in Technology, Business, and Productivity.
With over eight years of writing experience, she decided to jump fully into a freelance writing career. This gave her the opportunity to write for a number of great publications, including DataFloq, BizCatalyst360, Clinician Today, and The Job Network.
If she’s not writing, she enjoys traveling or being curled up in a blanket, reading a good book. You can follow her on her Twitter and LinkedIn.