The Internet of Things has revolutionized our life. The way we live and work changes completely when we have 7,000 million connected devices around us. It will change even more when, in five years, this number rises up to 21,500 million. In ten years, 90% of things we interact with will be connected. Current investments are a clue: only this year the main cities in the world, specially from the United States and China, have invested 745,000 million euros in this new technology. Spain is among the top five European countries that spend more money in this field, behind Germany, United Kingdom, France and Italy. In addition, two years from now 630,000 robots will be manufactured annually (in 2009 the figure was 60,000).
The numbers that surround IoT are stratospheric and it is not surprising. We are talking about a technology that affects many areas of our life, such as cities, home, transport, health, work or agriculture. We must take into account that it did not even exist as a concept 20 years ago. The person responsible for bringing it up to date was Kevin Ashton, co-founder of Auto-ID Center at MIT, who compared it to the emergence of Internet.
He was not mistaken. Today, our refrigerator tells us if we are missing a product and a virtual assistant like Alexa puts us our favorite music without having to move a finger. We can connect and disconnect our home alarm through our mobile phone and receive traffic information directly in our car. Street lights turn on only if they detect movement and thus, we save energy. A device connected to human body helps us prevent possible diseases. Machines inside a factory are being remotely controlled. Drones help us put out fires and control the state of a crop. And our mobile phone tells us where our taxi is in real time. 20 years ago, these scenarios were unthinkable.
A world in which you have to be competitive
IOTSWC19 held a discussion about how companies can take the Internet of Things to a maximum level in order to be highly competitive and succeed. The speakers gave some examples of companies that are on the right track in sectors such as commerce, smart cities or factories. You can check more information about the talk and the rest of this year’s congress here.