As this year draws to a close, we’ve put together our Top Five IoT trends to look out for in 2017 – a list of what we think will be the talking points in IoT over the coming year. Read on to find out more about our top five.
IoT is already enabling the Anything as a Service (XaaS) model in some markets such as automotive, with consumers starting to favour using an on-demand service such as Uber over personal and permanent ownership. There is good reason to believe that IoT-enabled XaaS could kickstart the Smart Home in the coming years by evolving the household appliance purchase model from a one-off transaction to an Appliance as a Service relationship between consumer and retailer or manufacturer. The same can be said for office and facilities management in general. These service-based models will rely on IoT connectivity to run efficiently and satisfactorily for both users and service providers. Manufacturers can monitor and manage machines in the field, reducing the risk of problems and improving the process of repair and replacement when they are necessary. Read our blog post Chill as a Service for further thoughts, and check out this thought-provoking article by Danish MP Ida Auken describing her hopes and fears for XaaS.
As discussed in our earlier blog post, it is essential for retailers and manufacturers to have robust Reverse Logistics policies and systems in place, and to consider returns as part of their sales pipeline in order to maximise a product’s value throughout its entire lifecycle. IoT enables companies to monitor products throughout the returns process, improving customer experience and making it easier for manufacturers to incorporate returns into their sales analytics efficiently and easily. By connecting products using IoT, manufacturers can reduce the number of returns through data collection and robust service plans for household and office appliances, among other products. With changing attitudes to purchasing and ownership (see XaaS above), connected devices look set to play a bigger part in reducing the need for returns and maintaining healthy service histories for products. Customer loyalty and meeting expectations will become ever more important and IoT will be key in helping companies to reach the highest levels of service.
One of the industries most likely to be disrupted and influenced by the IoT in the near future is insurance. The insurance business model is changing already. Insurance companies are starting to use connected devices to increase security in homes and vehicles and to monitor and manage their customers’ assets to improve service levels and prevent fraud. Data from wearable devices could play a major part in decisions made by health or life insurance providers, and Smart Home sensors and monitors can provide insurers with data to help with risk assessment, loss prevention and more precise costing. Likewise in the workplace where automation and IoT sensors can provide a lever of assurance around health and safety processes.
Within the network and radio technology sphere, all eyes may well be on Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) over the next 12 months as more enterprises and organisations choose it as their network option. Articles and reports such as this one from Analysys Mason published earlier this month point to the benefits this low power wide area (LPWA) wireless technology can bring to IoT infrastructures.
High profile projects and promotion by companies such as Huawei will undoubtedly help to increase the profile of NB-IoT, and its advantages over other connectivity options may well make the press throughout 2017. Smart Cities like Malaga and Seville are already using it to connect sensors and devices across their water network, with plans in place to use the technology to support entire urban infrastructures including traffic and parking management and street lighting. It will be fascinating to see how LoRaWAN and SIGFOX is affected by NB-IoT although in reality all have strengths and there may well be co-existence.
Connected day-to-day living
It is likely that we will all come into contact with the IoT in our day-to-day lives on a much greater scale over the next few years, as Smart Home and Smart Office connected systems become ever more affordable and easy to use. The way we interact with our homes and working spaces is likely to change as our connected environments begin to react to our daily routines and preferences. Some of the benefits may include lower utility bills as connected heating and lighting systems help us to reduce energy consumption and a greater work/life balance as Smart Offices help us to increase our productivity and allow us to work from anywhere.
As Smart City planners push forward with plans for connecting our urban environments, a stronger focus on investment models could make a real difference to Smart City infrastructure. Smart Energy initiatives look likely to be deployed on a larger scale as utility providers, homeowners and offices begin to implement IoT-connected devices and sensors into their energy networks.
2017 looks set to be an exciting year, and we’ll be keeping our finger firmly on the pulse to see the developments that come. Do let us know your thoughts on Arkessa’s Top Five – leave a comment below or tweet us @arkessa and let us know your own IoT predictions for 2017.