EMERGING TRENDS AND TECHNOLOGIES IN IOT DEVICES
Trends and Technologies in IoT 2
EMERGING TRENDS AND TECHNOLOGIES IN IOT DEVICES
Evaluation of Emerging Technological Trends in IoT
With the presence of an interconnected world, IoT has changed the way interconnection should look like. New emergent and innovative technologies have now enabled the completion of tasks in ways that resemble human task handling. IoT not only creates an interconnection of things with technology but also handles tasks with the help of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning. As IoT involves the interconnection of devices to make decisions and give a humanly experience to users, the integration of AI has helped to solve usage related problems and save time. AI has an adaptability feature by utilizing machine learning, sensors and the data collected. In the coming years, the development of IoT technologies will most probably advance at a faster pace since businesses and consumers are expected to adopt innovative projects and technologies in the IoT related tasks. Investments and security are the key driving forces to ensure the success of IoT applications in the business and IT industries. It is noted that IoT is the most profound transformational technology that will change the way businesses operate in the modern world. The businesses believe that the implementation of IoT applications and related products will help them achieve improved customer relations, growth in the businesses through increased productivity and reliability. IoT technologies. An integration of IoT business models will help minimize costs, risks and theft.
The emerging trends of IoT can be seen in the fields of industrial automation, healthcare, education, retail, smart cities, among others. For instance, IoT applications and devices (e.g. sensors) are used in key areas to lessen traffic congestion and improve public safety in a smart city. The scope of the existing trends in IoT was previously limited to person to person communication, and expanded into entry level businesses, retail and marketing in the recent years. It is noted that as the scope of IoT technological trends is increasing, new infrastructure will be required. A high-speed connectivity has become a new trend in IoT. IoT technology requires the seamless transfer and sharing of information among devices with the help of sensors. The data is analyzed and retrieved for automation purposes and allows all the devices to communicate through the network. The interaction of the devices is facilitated by ubiquitous computing that involves the continuous transfer of information in an environment while utilizing sensors and actuators, analytics tools, visualization and presentation. The technologies that utilize ubiquitous computing include Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) and Wireless Sensor Networks (WSN). RFID uses chips that identify things by using the signal power instead of battery power. The unique power acquisition has led to its adoption in applications used in retail, banking and transport. WSN comes in to complement the limited capacity of RFID. WSN provides a wireless connectivity of devices to share and transfer data to centralized or distributed systems.
Creation of new business models is another trend that has triggered the development of applications that utilize the IoT technology. The architecture of the business models has evolved and modified its components such as key resources, value propositions, customer relations, revenue and cost structures. The value proposition being of vital importance in the development of IoT applications and infrastructure, businesses are now creating sustainable and disruptive value propositions to maintain strategies that enhance the implementation of IoT applications and development of new business models.
Security considerations are now undertaken when integrating IoT technology into machines and devices. The increased digitization and automation of devices in the modern world have created new security challenges. As IoT aims to minimize human intervention and create a sole dependence on the devices, companies are now building a security framework into the IoT network. The framework features key aspects such as confidentiality (secrecy of information), integrity (assurance of the trustworthiness of data) and availability (availability of resources along with the appropriate access rights). The companies undertake preventive measures such as authentication to address the security concerns. The authentication involves the password-protection of the intelligent devices in the network and using both public and private keys.
The selection of new sensors in IoT applications has taken a different approach. The use of sensors is guided by the application requirements for which the IoT system is intended to fulfill. The sensor selection can be based on factors such as power consumption, timing, size of data and the criticality of data. Power consumption requirement focuses on the use of standalone IoT devices and their appropriate power source. It also applies to their automatic operations i.e. when changing its state between standby and active modes. For timing specific requirements, the dedicated IoT applications can be real-time or delayed. Examples are real-time applications in home automation and delayed applications in smart farming devices. The selection of sensors based on the size of data transferred considers the ability of the sensor devices to handle high speed internet and data processing. Some medical devices are now operating remotely, sending data to other switches to enable it to work remotely within the system. The devices include chips in organs, digital pills, smart wheelchairs, wearables and google glasses. The assessment of the medical IoT network’s lifecycle is conducted to predict any possible failures and help save lives. The modern sensor selection uses effective algorithms to optimize the systems’ operations and lower power consumption.
The increased use of blockchains is driven by the belief that it revolutionizes the security aspect of IoT technology. It is noted that blockchain ensures the security of the blocks (or sets of data) since all the blocks are chained. For instance, altering the data in one block will affect the code hash of the next block. The user will be able to identify the unwanted action that was done to the data. Blockchain in IoT is used in supply chain management. It ensures secure operations by tracking the requests and transactions both in the upstream and downstream of the supply chain.
Potential Challenges of Emerging Technological Trends in IoT
There are a number of issues that have become obstacles to the realization of the IoT benefits. The challenges include:
a) Security and privacy issues. These include security vulnerabilities such as cyber-attacks and theft. IoT technologies should ensure the confidentiality, integrity and availability of data.
b) Interoperability and standards. The technological standards are still fragmented hence the need for the unifying of such technologies. Additionally, the lack of a common framework means it would be difficult to set standards that will enable the connection of interoperable smart devices.
c) Scalability. The large volumes of data generated by IoT devices in a vast network need to be processed. The systems that handle such data need to be scalable.
d) Legal rights and regulations. As IoT technologies are being adopted, government and regulatory bodies may come up with rules that affect the use of IoT devices.
e) Design challenges. The IoT devices can have limited energy because they are usually used in an environment without charging. There are issues regarding the design such as limited memory and computation power.
The use of modern IoT technologies require the appropriate expertise on the design and development of IoT applications. There is also a need to create a standardized framework from which the different IoT applications are derived. It should meet the requirements of complex sensor architecture and support the implementation of technologies such as AI and blockchain. Tools such as IPv6 and Software-Defined Networks (SDN) should be used in high speed and scalable connectivity. The IoT technology is evolving and thus the trends might vary in the upcoming ages.
Impact Analysis of the Existing and Emerging Technologies on Future Trends
As IoT technology moves to the mainstream in companies in all major industries, the expenditure on IoT technology is set to increase continuously due to the growing number of connected devices and IoT projects. Companies will go beyond automation of processes to transform the entire industrial processes by creating new business models and revenue structures. This is driven by the industrial-wide push for interoperability, collaboration and setting of standards. Technologies such as AI, cloud computing, blockchain and modern connectivity improve the business processes. The combination of AI, cloud computing and blockchain with IoT technology results in the positive technological advancements and industrial growth that IoT promises. A great value is achieved when the technologies are used in IoT investments. Enterprises are able to address problems related to bandwidth, security and data analytics. An example is the use of AI and machine learning (ML) to analyze real-time data and aid in decision-making. The use of cloud computing helps to make the systems scalable, thus addressing latency, bandwidth and reliability issues. Blockchain will provide secure and timely tracking of data transactions and requests. Blockchain eliminates the need for mediated communication between the devices.
The existing and emerging IoT technologies not only connect previously unconnected devices, but also result in the merging of IT systems with operational technology. It creates an opportunity for cybercriminals to try to sabotage the devices and operation technology systems. It is noted that cyber-attacks are set to increase as more systems are merged with IoT technologies. The increase in the cyber-attacks would push the businesses to focus on IoT security. It will require more investment in training their personnel on how to address the related security concerns. Another approach is the implementation of a comprehensive strategy involving cyber security teams to develop a secure and efficient IoT network across the entire business operations. The enterprises can use cyber security technologies such as biometric encryption on the various IoT devices and systems across all levels to prevent identity theft and sabotage.
IoT drives the co-economy where large and small companies co-innovate and co-develop IoT solutions. It involves technological specialists who combine the knowledge and expertise in the development of large-scale IoT projects. The new partner ecosystems will develop the best and cost-effective solutions, resulting in more IoT innovations. The customers will also be co-innovators since a majority of them no longer want to be just purchasing the products. Rather, they prefer to provide their contribution on the requirements based on their preferences. The involvement of customers in the development of IoT solutions help in realigning the technology and business needs.
IoT has enabled the development of best-in-class industrial systems and applications with the help of communication technologies such as RFID, wireless communication, cellular connectivity and sensors. For instance, LTE (Long Term Evolution) which is meant for mobile communication has been updated to an advanced version that can work in vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication and controlling unmanned aerial vehicles (drones). RFID paved way for Near Field Communication (NFC) which is now used in smartphones to read NFC tags and access merchant payments. ZigBee communication technology is also used in IoT devices as it features low power consumption and costs (Saha, H.N., Mandal, A. and Sinha, A., 2017, 3).
By enabling the creation of new value propositions and business models, IoT technology is merged with other technologies to minimize production costs and improve interoperability of processes. An example is the combination of IoT with real-time data analytics and AI to predict the malfunctions of the enterprise systems or equipment and conduct precautionary maintenance. The businesses are also able to offer service-oriented products that rely on IoT technology. The customization of products is aided by the combination of IoT with AR technology. AR enriches the products’ presentation through the use of computer-generated virtual 3D elements. For example, the personalization of products can have AR features such as 3D printing or visual presentations based on customers’ needs and preferences (Schmalstieg, D. and Hollerer, T., 2016, 4).
The evolution of IoT technology has resulted in the rise of new opportunities and ecosystems in the IoT environment. The enterprises are driven by the value of IoT technology to develop new products, services and revenue streams. It has also attracted investments and created jobs related to IoT technological advancements. A number of ancillary industries that manufacture analytics systems, smart and connected devices, monitoring systems and security solutions have emerged. Other companies and service providers are benefiting from cloud and communication technologies. These companies include those that provide the connectivity and infrastructure which is required by the IoT networks. It is noted that the network and connectivity technologies will also have to adapt to the IoT environment. Even though they facilitated the rise of IoT (the way cloud and IoT are linked) their evolution is also impacted by the IoT technologies. Cloud increases the number of devices linked to a network whereas IoT is capable of expanding the infrastructure; and the cloud must expand as well.
A number of solutions address the IoT challenges. The issues of security and privacy are addressed by implementing proven solutions that would boost the security of the IoT devices. The IoT security providers will identify the problems such as potential threats in the IoT network and devices. They will employ security analytics that involve collection, correlation and analysis of data from a number of sources. The next step is to implement a public key infrastructure which will ensure the encryption of data and reduce the theft of data. Ensuring communication protection on the communication network using encryptions such as AES 256 and HTTPS (Zissis, D. and Lekkas, D., 2012, p. 583). Another step is to secure the network against attacks. For instance, integrating security features such as firewalls, anti-malware and antivirus programs. The vulnerability of IoT devices is also reduced when there is a comprehensive device authentication of IoT devices.
The companies also need to employ cloud computing and big data analytics for the interpretation data collected by IoT devices to achieve maximum benefits. The data helps in developing personalized investments and products. The design challenges can be addressed by assessing the capacities and the designated functionalities of the IoT devices before determining its viability and interoperability with other devices. For example, increasing the battery capacity of the device might solve the challenge of limited energy. Government and regulatory bodies should come up with regulations that will help ensure safety and security of IoT devices and people. Setting the appropriate and common standards, design and configuration of IoT devices will promote the success of the IoT ecosystem where sensors, machines, devices and people communicate in a common language. It is noted that interoperability is essential for the future development of IoT. An example is the need for vehicles to communicate with each other to coordinate the movement in traffic and ensure safety on the road.
Zissis, D. and Lekkas, D., 2012. Addressing cloud computing security issues. Future Generation computer systems, 28(3), p.583.