Top 3 IoT Trends to Watch in 2018

When it comes to the world of the Internet of Things (IoT) it’s difficult not to get excited. What’s even better is the fact that this year promises to be the best one yet.

While most of us may have grown accustomed to Apple Watches and Fitbits, the true benefits of IoT are being realized on a massive scale (kind of like IoT on steroids).

It’s no secret that IoT is rapidly gaining popularity across industries because it can help take them move up to the next level. These industries include healthcare, finance, manufacturing, agriculture, and a whole lot more.

With the number of connected devices expected to exceed 11 billion this year, what can we expect? Let’s take a look at the top three IoT trends to watch in 2018.

1. BIoT

IoT and the blockchain compliment each other in many ways, so it’s not a surprise to see them combined to make IoT devices even better. By fusing both technologies together, you can create a digital record across thousands of computers to significantly reduce the risk of a breach.

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So 2018 will be the year of the BIoT or the Blockchain Internet of Things and you can expect it create a bunch of new businesses and services. From connected traffic lights that better manage rush hour traffic to technologies tracking pharmaceutical shipments, the future of BIoT is bright.

Going forward, you can expect more and more enterprises to use APIs that combine both technologies to enable easy access to data generated from multiple sensors. More than any other industry, you can expect the convergence of these technologies to disrupt supply chain and logistics.

2. Smart IoT

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has rapidly evolved in recent years and in 2018, you can expect it to make IoT a lot smarter and more productive. In fact, AI is expected to become the brains behind IoT over the next few months.

As thousands of devices get connected, AI, deep learning, image recognition, natural language processing, and neural-network driven decision-making will come to the forefront.

At present, we have a lot of connected devices at home and at work, but it's still far from a truly connected experience. AI promises to change that and eliminate isolated experiences by bridging the gap through better understanding.

3. IoT Will Push Processing Power to the Edge

To better exploit the data collected by IoT sensors, cameras, and other devices, companies will start moving to the edge. This is because things like smart cameras can now not only see and hear but also understand what it’s watching and listening to.

By processing this data on the edge, companies can help ensure privacy and speed. As the information will be processed on the edge instead of being sent to the cloud, it will also help businesses in industries like finance and healthcare maintain compliance.

All this innovation will eventually lead to smarter cities where everything will be made more efficient and effective through real-time big data analytics. With the convergence of technologies like AI, big data, the blockchain, edge computing, and IoT, a planet made up of smart cities is far closer than most people think.

If it’s done properly, it has the potential to transform every industry, government entity, and the lives of individual people. How soon we get there will depend on how these trends accelerate and evolve over the next few months.

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Andrew is our IT storyteller and copywriter. His current undertaking is big data analytics and CSS as well as digital design and branding. He is a contributor to various publications with a focus on new technology and marketing.

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