Internet of Things (IoT) has disrupted the way we live and work. IoT is ubiquitously present today, from smart connected homes to wearables to healthcare. In fact, IoT is slowly becoming part of every aspect of our lives. Not only are these Internet-enabled or smart devices enhancing our comfort, but they are also giving us more control to simplify routine work life and personal tasks.
IoT in its simplest form is visible in the wearable biometric sensors. The simplest of these are little more than networked digital pedometers, which count steps, measure the distance a person has traversed, and furnish an estimate of the calories burned in the course of this activity. More elaborate models measure heart rate, breathing, skin temperature, and even perspiration.
IoT can also be defined as interplay for software, telecom, and electronic hardware industry and promises to offer tremendous opportunities for many industries. With the advent of IoT, the number of connected sensors soon will reach trillions; working with billions of intelligent systems involving in-numerous applications will drive new consumer and business behavior. The demand for increasingly intelligent industry solutions based on IoT will drive trillions of dollars in opportunity for IT industry and even more for the companies that take advantage of the IoT.
IoT is at a relatively nascent stage in India. In the last few years, the IoT market in the country has witnessed significant growth backed by the increase in number of connected devices, coupled with increasing Internet penetration and exponential growth with the launch of initiatives as Smart Cities mission and Digital India campaign.
The Indian IoT market is expected to be USD 9 billion by 2020. IoT is going to be the next big thing for operators as India will rapidly grow into a hub for IoT solutions, says a Deloitte report, and IoT units are expected to see a rapid growth of 31 times to reach 1.9 billion by 2020. Going forward, IoT deployment for digital utilities or smart cities and in the manufacturing, transport and logistics, and automotive industries would drive the demand for industrial IoT applications. India might witness an earlier arrival of 5G in India and, therefore, operators must take intermediate steps and evolve from LTE to LTE-A and LTE-A Pro, in preparation for 5G.
Worldwide, 8.4 billion connected things will be in use in 2017, up 31 percent from 2016, to reach 20.4 billion by 2020. Total spending on endpoints and services will reach almost USD 2 trillion in 2017, as per Gartner. Regionally, Greater China, North America, and Western Europe are driving the use of connected things and the three regions combinedwill represent 67 percent of the overall IoT installed base in 2017.
India is currently the world's second-largest telecommunications market, and has registered strong growth in the past decade and a half. India shall overtake USA as the second-largest smartphone market globally this year and maintain high growth rate over the next few years, as people switch to smartphones and gradually upgrade to 4G, as per IDC.
Driven by strong adoption of data consumption on handheld devices, the total mobile services market revenue in India is expected to touch USD 37 billion in 2017, registering a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.2 percent between 2014 and 2017.
The wearable devices market in India is at a nascent stage and its prevalence is much lesser in comparison to markets like US or China. The popularity of wearable devices is restricted to urban sectors with a relatively higher-disposable-income consumer. It is pegged at 2.5 million units in 2016 by IDC. While adoption levels are growing, it is still in the early phases of expansion. Worldwide, it is expected to increase at a CAGR of 24.8 percent over the 5 years, reaching 162.9 million units in 2020.
Adoption of newer connected home solutions is still at the early adopter phase. Connected home solutions consist of a set of devices and services that are connected to each other and to the Internet and can automatically respond to preset rules, be remotely accessed and managed by mobile apps or a browser, and send alerts or messages to the user. Globally, the smart home market is expected to reach USD 121.73 billion by 2022, at a CAGR of 14.07 percent between 2016 and 2022. In India, the market is at a nascent stage. However, Indian telecom players will soon enter this space. Bharti Airtel is planning to enter the smart home segment with its IoT and machine-to-machine solutions. Reliance Jio Infocomm is planning to launch fiber-to-home powered home automation that will allow users to convert basic electronic products into smart products with the installation of six-seven smart plugs. These smart plugs will allow users to control the entire home with the help of smartphones or tablets. With the growing IoT trend, the Indian smart homes segment is expected to see a surge.
IoT for Businesses
While IoT is generally associated with smart devices for consumers, there are industrial uses of the technology as well. As consumers continue to purchase devices, businesses are spending more. In 2017, in terms of hardware spending, the use of connected things among businesses will amount to USD 964 billion. Consumer applications will amount to USD 725 billion in 2017. By 2020, hardware spending in both segments is pegged at almost USD 3 trillion, reveals Gartner's research
IoT helps businesses to analyze consumption patterns by providing detailed information about consumption in real time to the customer relationship management (CRM) platforms, thereby improving business prospects. It also enables products to generate automated posts and shares and locations on social media, helping to build online communities of users centred on products – and in turn, allow marketers to gain useful feedback and identify trends.
It will also revolutionize how companies track and manage their inventory. Businesses that rely on warehousing, manufacturing, or storage, will use remote scanners and similar high-tech devices in future to keep track of inventory item by item. In the near future, smart devices will keep tabs on inventory changes completely automatically, freeing up workers for more important, cognitively demanding tasks. It is not just about the smart home anymore – it is also about the smart office and smart warehouse.