6. Internet of Things (IoT) become Intelligent:
IoT in 2018 saw several key developments such as the intensification of the data revolution, the mass adoption of IoT platforms across businesses and the recognition of significant security challenges in IoT solutions. Connected devices or things numbers doubled in 2018 to 20 billion IoT devices across the globe. Hundreds of IoT start-ups received billions of dollars in funding. World organisations and Governments adopted the disruptive IoT innovations in Smart Manufacturing in the context of Industry 4.0 revolution. According to Forrester Wave, more than 60 per cent of businesses and decision makers are already using or planning to use IoT-enabled software applications in the next two years right from developing connected products to transforming operational processes to build digital transformation and create new business models.
However, IoT adoption is still at the dawn of standardisation and regulation of emerging technologies, and the integration of protocols are complicated. Hence businesses have to deal with fragmented sets of protocols, hardware, applications, software and analytical solutions. At the same time, IT Giants like Amazon, IBM, Cisco, GE, Microsoft, and the likes offer robust IoT software platform and solutions that simplify the creation, design, integration and management of IoT enterprise data and infrastructure. These multifunctional solutions address the issues and help Government and organisations to build a secure, connected, and manageable IoT enabled technology in large scale. In a fierce competition between the platforms, the IT giants are motivated to innovate and continue to improve. AWS IoT launched its technology to run trained ‘Machine Learning’ models on ‘Edge devices.’ Microsoft Azure IoT Suite provides new developer-friendly features for its device management which makes the integrating connected devices to enterprise infrastructure simpler.
IoT application synergise and integrated Machine Learning capabilities, Augmented Reality, Image recognition, Blockchain, and support other technology ecosystems. IOTA a blockchain startup in partnership with major IoT players promises to secure invisible micropayment transactions handled autonomously between smart devices. The entire concept of predictive maintenance is the most promising applications of the lot in IoT in smart manufacturing markets. It is built on the integration of ML into IoT infrastructure. Using the ML algorithms, the legacy data and real-time data is converted into insights and predictive models which empower the operators to foresee the wear and tear of machinery, prevent malfunction, automate maintenance and drastically cut down on the overhead costs of operations and maintenance. In 2018 there was more collaboration between in-platform expansion among technology and verticals for single-focus projects. For, e.g., ThingWorx PTC IoT Platform and AR SDK Vuforia, or the joint efforts by IBM’s in-house development among IBM Watson Natural Language Understanding service, IBM IoT Watson Platform, and Watson Machine Learning.
Data is a critical component of IoT-enabled systems and services. While the fact is, only the well-cleansed, processed, formatted, and indexed data can be turned into valuable insights. As per the data scientists, eighty per cent of work involved in gaining analytical insights from heterogeneous data is quite a tedious task. Hence, not every company that introduces the IoT technology into its processes and operations will get the best of its data. This has led to varied new approaches to data application, data intelligence, and monetisation. IOTA has come up with an initiative for creating a marketplace within which any sensor or connected device could securely buy valuable data for a small fee to accelerate its operations. This data economy will provide billions of IoT-enabled enterprises with easy access to cost-efficient structured data. The data revolution has only accelerated throughout 2018 and will act as a catalyst for a whole new paradigm in the field of Artificial Intelligence, Research, Machine/Deep Learning, Data Analytics and Democratization of data.
With the events of 2018, one of the areas which are still a big concern for IoT is the CyberSecurity and Privacy across the entire IoT ecosystem. According to the market data, more than sixty per cent of the global consumers are worried about their connected devices while the majority of them found privacy itself the primary concern for IoT and it will continue to be so until the industry and companies are cognizant of the customer data that they are collecting and should be diligent and transparent in protecting their customers.
Therefore, 2018, saw the wide-scale development and adoption of IoT software platforms for hardware management, predictive maintenance, asset tracking, security and IoT for all. The IoT will continue to expand and enhance with things becoming intelligent and smarter. Even though IoT is rapidly advancing with a unique growing number of sensors and thousands of platforms, there is still a significant need for interoperability. The convergence of IoT, AI, and Robotics will bring about amazing new technologies to make the vision of Smart Cities and Smart Nation a reality in the years to come.
7. 5G Technology:
5G offers massive potential for both industry and the consumers with the prospect of being considerably faster than any of the existing technologies. 5G holds the promise of application with the socio-economic value, leading to a “hyper-connected society” in which smartphones will play an ever critical role in every individual’s life. 5G Technology is finally becoming a reality and is revolutionizing in several areas.
- Improved broadband: The shift to 5G will undoubtedly change the way we interact with technology on a daily basis. If we need to continue using mobile broadband, then the 5G is an absolute necessity. Carriers are running out of the LTE capacity in major metropolitan areas. In some cities, users are already experiencing a slowdown during busy hours of the day. 5G adds a massive amount of spectrum in bands which have not been used for commercial broadband traffic.
- Autonomous and Connected Vehicles: Autonomous cars will rise at the same rate of the 5G deployment across the United States. In the future, the vehicle will communicate with other vehicles on the road, provide information relating to road conditions to other cars, and performance information to divers and automakers. For, e.g., if a vehicle ahead of you breaks-down, your vehicle will immediately learn about it and preemptively the brake to prevent a collision. This type of vehicle to vehicle communication could ultimately save many people’s lives on the road.
- Infrastructure and Public Safety: 5G will enable cities and other municipalities to operate more efficiently. Utility organisations will be able to track the usage remotely easily. Sensors will be able to notify the public works departments in case of any drain overflows or street lights go out.
- Internet of Things (IoT): One of the critical aspects of 5G is the impact on the IoT. Even though the sensors can communicate with each other, they require a lot of resources and are depleting LTE data capacity rapidly. With 5G speed and low latencies, the IoT will be powered by communications among smart devices (MTC device) and sensors. MTC devices will require fewer resources since a vast amount of MTC devices can connect to a single base station making them highly efficient.
5G saw many significant advancements and Trials in 2018. The progress will continue to happen over the next couple of years as the infrastructure is not fully ready yet and the industry will gear up for the new generation of the internet making a big wave.
8. Data Security and Privacy:
The Technology industry has been so focussed on the innovations, business expansion, and monetisation has been the focus for the past few decades that the security and privacy have been an afterthought. The year 2018 has been an incredible year for an increased focus on consumer data security and privacy for the first time. IT giants like Facebook, Google, and Apple had to respond to the privacy issues at the core of their products. From rollback of the net neutrality in the United States to GDPR in the European Union, data privacy is affecting how businesses, advertisers, and consumers use personal data in their products and services that seemingly endless barrage of emails from the service providers claiming to have updated their privacy policies.
In the past, many companies have taken the liberty of sharing customer data with third-parties without the customers realising it. Now everyone needs to be clear about their intentions for asking for personal information. Many businesses are likely to miss out on an extra revenue or driving traffic from email marketing if their customers have opted out. However, this has given back the power to the customers in reconsidering who they share their personal information with and whether it is really required. With the recent cyber attacks and data leaks around the globe, organisations are taking active measures to their cybersecurity breaches. Therefore 2018 and years to come will be seeing more connected devices or things than ever before as the world continues to trade in their privacy for convenience, whether that is sitting back in our driverless car or turning on the lights with our voice.
The automotive industry is on the cusp of a revolution in the world of transportation. Next-gen technologies are transforming the industry and accelerating the pace of innovations which will impact the way we live and travel. It will transform the way businesses will operate right from importing of materials to distributing the products and employing staff. Electric vehicles, mobility-on-demand, ultra-high speed trains, digital railways, digital railways, are some of the aspects of the revolution, but it is Autonomous Technology that will really disrupt our lives forever since, for the first time in history, mobility freedom will be available to everyone and everywhere.
According to a report from KPMG, the world authorities, governments, businesses, and other industry stakeholders believe in the potential economic benefits that the AVs will make on every individual. The time one takes to drive a car becomes a productive time in an AV which can be spent reading, working or relaxing. Besides, there will be a vast reduction in car accidents and approx 1.3 million people being killed each year and accessibility for people with disabilities or age and for those who cannot drive. The rapid pace in the development of AV is breathtaking. According to the KPMG Readiness Index, the Netherlands, Singapore and United States are on the top 3 in the ranking and ahead in the game of building their transportation to become fully Autonomous in the years to come.
- Netherlands: The Netherlands provides AV readiness models for other countries to follow, with phenomenal road infrastructure, highly supportive government and enthusiastic adoption of the electric vehicles. On the innovation and technology front, the state has by far the highest usage of electric vehicles of the twenty countries on this index report at present and the highest density of electric cars charging point, with 26, 789 public available according to the International Energy Agency’s Global EV Outlook. They also have high-quality wireless networks which help significantly in the AV developments.
- Singapore: Singapore top two pillars of the KPMG Index in Legislation, Policy, and Consumer acceptance. Singapore’s Autonomous Vehicles Initiative receives a max score on regulation with a 2017 amendment to its Road Traffic Act enabling self-driving vehicles to be tested on public roads and being the single entity to coordinate the AV developments. The Land Transport Authority of Singapore (LTA) has taken a safety-first approach with AV trials starting to use on lightly used roads and slowly graduating to more congested roads only after they have demonstrated the readiness. The LTA has introduced a regulatory framework that minimises the occurrence of accidents. Operators are required to have a qualified safety driver who will be able to take control of the vehicles during an emergency, hold third-party liability insurance and share data from the trials with LTA.
- United States: The US leads in AV innovation, and is ranked at the top of the technology and innovation pillar of this index. The country has the highest ratings in terms of the research and developments, industry partnerships, research and development hubs, AV technology company headquarters, investments, and technology availability and capacity for innovation. The country has the highest number of AV companies, with 163 headquarters. AVs are being tested at numerous sites across the country, but little is understood concerning the actual capabilities of early vehicles or the timing for adoption. Therefore the prospect of driverless vehicles is unlikely in the near future. The federal policy and regulatory guidance could certainly accelerate early adoption for limited freight applications such as truck platooning.
10. Smart Cities:
The vision of Smart Cities is to be all networked, connected, and collaborative. The evolution of Smart City 2.0 is moving beyond the smarter or intelligent things and connected infrastructure. The smart city of tomorrow will engage citizens, governments, businesses, and visitors in a connected and intelligent ecosystem. The goal of smart city 2.0 is to provide a better quality of life, better city services, economic competitiveness to attract talent and industry and an environmental focus on sustainability. In 2018, the industry saw the dawn of the next-gen of urban evolution as some of the advanced cities evolved beyond mere infrastructure and will involve the entire ecosystem by operating at the intersection of the data, design, and digital for better decision-making through the use of data by all the stakeholders including the citizens, government, and the businesses. In some of the nations, the cities have evolved from Smart City 1.0 to Smart City 2.0 which have significant disruptions the way we live in the coming decade.
To summarise, 2018 has been the year of transition and many breakthroughs within the technological sectors as mentioned above. The technologies will continue to improve exponentially. IoT will become intelligent with connected things numbers doubling, and 5G Technology will be deployed in certain markets with infrastructure developments to continue, Data Security and Privacy will become increasingly regulated, and customers have the power back in reconsidering with whom they share their personal information. Autonomous Vehicles will make way for mobility-on-demand and transform the face of the transportation industry in the years to come. Last but not the least Smart Cities 2.0 has evolved beyond the connected infrastructure to engaging the citizens, governments, businesses and visitors to develop an intelligent ecosystem, better decision-making and seamless infrastructure. Overall a great year for the technological advancements which the industry has experienced since the past decade. Let us look forward to a terrific disruption in the coming year.