Article | January 29, 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic turned the tides towards remote work and virtual connectivity. And even though growth seemed to have slowed down in 2020, experts see double-digit growth in the next few years. The tides may be turning but virtual connectivity and the tools required for remote growth are not slowing down in demand. As the tech world adapts to new shifts, IoT is among one of the most anticipated technologies to prosper in 2021.
Digital transformation has rapidly accelerated in the past year and if the experts are to be believed, 2021 shows promise for an even better year for technological advancement. According to IDC’s 2020-2024 forecast, spending will reach an annual growth rate of 11.3 percent. And with this, the number of connected devices is likely to grow up. Take a look at what will be the focus of IoT industry trends in 2021.
Privacy & Security
As smart homes are becoming the norm and you cannot throw a stone without hitting a smart device, one thing is clear—IoT devices are everywhere. People almost always forget smartphones when talking about IoT devices, but the fact is that smartphones are very much a part of the IoT ecosystem. And with the infusion of IoT in our everyday lives, questions about privacy and security are cropping up.
In 2021, privacy and security will be at the forefront of IoT industry trends, as devices infuse further into the everyday lives of people. According to recent research, 90 percent of consumers lack confidence in IoT device security. And the onus of bolstering consumer confidence will be up to IoT businesses.
According to Gartner’s “Top Strategic Technology Trends For 2021” report, IoT will be a large part of the office experience in 2021. As businesses are trying to avoid the losses that occurred in early 2020, workplaces are being geared up with RFID tags, sensors, and monitors to ensure social distancing measures, whether employees are wearing masks and overall health monitoring.
Additionally, many organizations have decided to move permanently to a remote mode and will rely more on IoT devices for connectivity. So we can expect better automated scheduling and calendar tools, more interactive video conferencing, and virtual meeting technology. In the case of fieldwork, IoT will offer an added factor of monitoring behavior.
Experts predict that energy will be a crucial factor in the IoT industry trends in 2021. With smart grids, metering, and restoration resilience being powered by IoT, 2021 will move towards optimized energy consumption and devices that are designed to encourage energy-friendly practices.
What’s more? Smart engines and automobiles can be optimized to reduce their carbon footprint and become energy-friendly. As evidenced by the Paris summit and the wildfires in 2020, the world is becoming ecologically conscious. IoT devices in 2021 will focus heavily on reduced emissions, lowering air and ocean pollution, and minimizing power expenditure.
As COVID-19 limited human interaction, location-based services soared during the pandemic. Businesses started leveraging location data to offer curbside pickup, virtual queues, and check-ins for reservations to enhance the customer experience during the pandemic.
According to experts, the use of location data will continue to be crucial for customer service and convenience in 2021. As people prefer being safe even as the vaccines are being delivered, location data will allow businesses to cater to their customers without compromising on customer or employee safety.
IoT is being helmed as the perfect technology partner for creating digital twins in many industries. As IoT collects a large amount of data through physical devices, this data can be reinterpreted to create the perfect digital twins. Also, IoT can offer visibility into the full product life cycle and unfold deeper operational intelligence. Companies like Siemens are already leveraging technologies like AIoT to design and create digital twins for product design and production. Coupled with AI, IoT will be used more commonly for creating digital twins in 2021.
A technology as dynamic as IoT can be leveraged for almost any application. Therefore, it may surprise us all in the way it progresses in 2021. However, experts believe that the above 5 IoT industry trends will rule 2021 for sure.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the latest IoT industry trends?
The use of IoT in Healthcare, Artificial Intelligence, workforce management, and ecological conservation can be deemed as some of the latest trends in IoT.
What is the future scope of IoT?
As experts believe there will be over 85 billion connected devices by the end of 2021, and the numbers are promising for upcoming years, we can safely say that the future of IoT is indeed bright.
What industries are most likely to use the Internet of things technology?
IoT is a dynamic technology with applications in almost every industry. However, industries like healthcare, construction, manufacturing, tech, and resource management are most like to use IoT right now.
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"name": "What is the future scope of IoT?",
"text": "As experts believe there will be over 85 billion connected devices by the end of 2021, and the numbers are promising for upcoming years, we can safely say that the future of IoT is indeed bright."
"name": "What industries are most likely to use the Internet of things technology?",
"text": "IoT is a dynamic technology with applications in almost every industry. However, industries like healthcare, construction, manufacturing, tech, and resource management are most like to use IoT right now."
Article | January 29, 2021
Modern computing devices can be thought of as a collection of discrete microprocessors each with a dedicated function like high-speed networking, graphics, Disk I/O, AI, and everything in between. The emergence of the intelligent edge has accelerated the number of these cloud-connected devices that contain multiple specialized sub-processors each with its own firmware layer and often a custom operating system. Many vulnerability analysis and endpoint detection and response (EDR) tools find it challenging to monitor and protect devices at the firmware level, leading to an attractive security gap for attackers to exploit.
At the same time, we have also seen growth in the number of attacks against firmware where sensitive information like credentials and encryption keys are stored in memory. A recent survey commissioned by Microsoft of 1,000 security decision-makers found that 83 percent had experienced some level of firmware security incident, but only 29 percent are allocating resources to protect that critical layer. And according to March 2021 data from the National Vulnerability Database included in a presentation from the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency (CISA) at the 2021 RSA, difficult-to-patch firmware attacks are continuing to rise. Microsoft’s Azure Defender for IoT team (formerly CyberX) recently announced alongside the Department of Homeland Security a series of more than 25 critical severity vulnerabilities in IoT and OT devices
Article | January 29, 2021
The presence of internet of things (IoT) devices in employee’s homes is a neglected item in many enterprise threat models. Caution is certainly warranted here, but it’s entirely possible to improve your risk awareness and secure smart devices in a calm and measured way. Overlooking privacy and security risks has consequences. It’s in everyone’s best interest to consider the potential impact of every point of data output in your technological ecosystem. Any of these devices could affect the security of your digital connections. To minimize both personal and enterprise risk, it’s important to adhere to the following IoT security best practices.
Article | January 29, 2021
The year 2020 was supposed to be a breakthrough year for many technologies but, most businesses have now been forced back into building an infrastructure to transit their workforce to work remotely and ensure continuity of workflow. Nevertheless, an unprecedented set of events have pushed several industries to accelerate the adoption of technologies as they continue to work from home.
5G and Wi-Fi 6 are two tech advancements that have been turning eyes around the world since their introduction. The two wireless technologies are well on their way to revolutionize the Internet of Things as businesses move fast towards digitization and the world is excited.
Table of Contents:
- Wi-Fi 6: A Breakthrough in Wireless Technology
- 5G: For a Better Connected World
- How are Wi-Fi 6 and 5G Transforming the IoT?
- 5G and Wi-Fi 6: Rivals or Allies?
Wi-Fi 6: A Breakthrough in Wireless Technology
The next-generation Wi-Fi with boosted speed was introduced last year to meet the demand for faster internet amongst the rising internet users. But, Wi-Fi 6 is simply more than a tweak in the speed.
Technically called 802.11ax, Wi-Fi 6 is the advancement in the wireless standard doing the same basic things but with greater efficiency in the device-dense areas, and offering much greater bandwidth than its predecessor 802.11ac or Wi-Fi 5. Wi-Fi 6 promises a speed up to 9.6 Gbps up four times than that of Wi-Fi 5 (3.5Gbps). In reality, this is just a theoretical maximum that one is not expected to reach. Even still, the 9.6Gbps is higher speed and doesn’t have to go to a single device but split up across a network of devices.
A new technology in Wi-Fi 6 called the Target Wake Time (TWT) lets routers set check-in times with devices, allowing communications between the router and the devices. The TWT also reduces the time required to keep the antennas powered to search for signals, which in turn also improves battery life.
Wi-Fi 6 also comes with a new security protocol called WPA3, making it difficult to hack the device passwords by simple guesswork.
In short, Wi-Fi 6 means better speeds with optimized battery lives, and improved security.
5G: For a Better Connected World
5G is the next in line to replace 4G LTE. While Wi-Fi covers small scale internet requirements, cellular networks like 5G are here to connect everyone and everything virtually on a larger scale.
The technology is based on the Orthogonal frequency-division Multiplexing (OFDM) that reduces interference by modulating a digital signal across several channels. Ability to operate in both lower bands (like sub-6 GHz) and mmWave (24 GHz and above), 5G promises increased network capacity, low latency and multi-Gbps throughput. 5G also uses the new 5G NR air interface to optimize OFDM to deliver not just better user experience but also a wider one extending to many industries, and mission-critical service areas.
The 5G technology, in a nutshell, has brought with it ultra-high speeds, increased and scalable network capacity, and very low latency.
How are Wi-Fi 6 and 5G Transforming the IoT?
5G and Wi-Fi 6 will fill up the speed gaps that our existing networks are not able to especially, in crowded homes or congested urban areas. It's not just about the speed. The two wireless technologies will increase network capacity and improve signal strengths.
On the business front, 5G and Wi-Fi 6 are both living up to the hype they created since their introduction.
Wi-Fi 6 has emerged, as the enabler of converged IoT at the edge. It has put IT into OT applications, connected devices and processed data from devices such as IP security cameras, LED lighting, and digital signage with touch screen or voice command. Wi-Fi 6 can now be used in office buildings for intelligent building management systems, occupancy sensors, access control (smart locks), smart parking, and fire detection and evacuation.
It’s (Wi-Fi 6) built for IoT. It will connect many, many more people to mobile devices, household appliances, or public utilities, such as the power grid and traffic lights. The transfer rates with Wi-Fi 6 are expected to improve anywhere from four times to 10 times current speeds, with a lower power draw, i.e. while using less electricity.
- Tom Soderstrom, IT Chief Technology and Innovation Officer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)
Similarly, 5G will open doors for more devices and data. It will increase the adoption of edge computing for faster data processing close to the point of action. The hype around 5G is because of the three key attributes it comes with: enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB), ultra-reliable low-latency (uRLLC), and massive IoT device connectivity (mMTC). But there is the fourth attribute that sets it apart from its predecessor: use of a spectrum that operates at the low-end frequency range (typically 600 MHz). Called as ‘low-band 5G’, it delivers high speeds with signals that go for miles without propagation losses and ability to penetrate obstacles. The 5G operates in the new millimetre-wave bands (24 to 86 GHz) delivering more capacity to enable many low-power IoT connections.
If we were to point down the benefits, these two wireless technologies are bringing to the Internet of Things those would be:
Increased Human-Device Interactions
Increased Data and Devices
More IoT investments
Advancing to the Edge
Acceleration towards Industrial IoT
Enhanced use of IoT devices
5G and Wi-Fi 6: Rivals or Allies?
In February, Cisco estimated that by 2023 M2M communications will contribute to 50% or about 14.7 billion of all networked connections. Cisco’s Annual Internet Report reveals that 5G will enable new IoT applications with greater bandwidth and lower latencies and will accelerate innovations at scale. The same report estimates that 10.6% of global mobile connections in 2023 will be 5G, while Wi-Fi 6 hotspots will be 11.6% of all public Wi-Fi hotspots growing 13 times from 2020 through 2023.
Wi-Fi6 will serve as a necessary complement to 5G. A significant portion of cellular traffic is offloaded to Wi-Fi networks to prevent congestion and degraded performance of cellular networks (due to demand).
- Thomas Barnett, Director of Thought Leadership, Cisco Systems
The two technologies are here to feed different data-hungry areas with gigabit speeds.
With lower deployment costs, Wi-Fi 6 will be dominating the home and business environments where access points need to serve more users covering devices like smartphones, tablets, PCs, printers, TV sets, and streaming devices. With an unlicensed spectrum, the performance of Wi-Fi 6 depends on the number of users, that are using the network at the same time.
5G, with its longer range, will deliver mobile connections and accelerate smart city deployments and manufacturing operations. Like LTE, 5G speeds will depend upon users’ proximity to base stations and the number of people using that network.
The performance of the two depends largely on the area where they are being deployed. For instance, Wi-Fi can very well handle machine-to-machine communications in a managed manufacturing unit, whereas 5G can enhance campus-wide manufacturing operations efficiently. Businesses will have a decision to make which among the two wireless networks fulfils their data appetite.
In conclusion, the two wireless technologies continue to develop in parallel and causing the next big wave in the Internet of Things.