Celebrate IoT Day! A Look at 5 IoT Trends in 2017

IoT Day is right around the corner and LiveWorx is celebrating!  In case you haven’t heard, IoT Day was created by the Internet of Things Council (an IoT think tank) in 2010 to discuss the capabilities and enormous potential that the IoT brings to the global economy.  You can let the world know how you’re recognizing the day by using #iotday on social media, and check the IoT Day website for a list of events. 

Celebrate IoT Day with a Special Facebook Live Event

On Monday, April 10 at 1pm, LiveWorx and PTC will be celebrating IoT Day with a special Facebook Live event hosted by 2 IoT experts.  Learn how the IoT is transforming businesses and industries worldwide, top trends, the future of IoT and how you can experience the latest IoT technologies and solutions in person. Follow both Facebook pages (linked above) so you’ll be notified when the event starts, and come ready with your questions to ask the experts!

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5 IoT Trends in 2017

As part of our celebration, we wanted to examine some of the top trends happening with the IoT this year.  Here are just 5 of them (though if you do some digging, you’ll find there are many more!):

1. Security 

 Security has always been a hot-button issue for the Internet, and it will continue to be an issue for the Internet of Things.  Companies are continuing to enhance privacy and build secure IoT devices by adopting a security-focused approach. According to IBM, to enable the full potential of the IoT, security challenges must be addressed through a combination of interoperability, education and good design—and by taking a proactive approach to designing security features, which will result in better products and solutions.

2. Connectivity

Another trend, from TechRadar, is the future of connectivity and interoperability. Currently, there is a lack of common connectivity standards and a confusing array of connectivity protocols – including cellular, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Zigbee, Sigfox, Wirepas and dozens more.  This may cause a crisis of confidence in some, but in a software-driven world, there’s really no need to panic.  In the past, connectivity and protocols were standardized because everything had to be hard-wired on the silicon side. But aside from cellular, everything else now runs on software. Each standard has advantages, whether that be data rates and battery life or range and outdoor coverage, and can survive quite easily alongside others.

3. Industrial IoT

In the past, IoT was being driven by consumer-driven products such as smart home technology, but now industry is taking advantage of the IoT and smart connected products and equipment. Manufacturers are moving toward smarter tech that reduces costs and improves productivity, such as the Brilliant Factory initiative by GE. IoT technology can be used for everything from servicing equipment remotely, to agriculture applications like soil monitoring, animal tracking and feeding. When technology moves from consumer to industrial applications, there is typically a learning curve for both scalability and security. While consumers may be accustomed to service outages or bugs, the industrial environment designs with security risks in mind, which may put the Industrial IoT ahead of the security curve.

4. Voice Control/Smart Home

TechRadar predicts that voice control is poised to make a significant impact on how we interact with electronics generally, and that applies even more to the IoT.  There are many benefits of the smart home, from better regulating the temperature inside the house, to waiting until the optimal time to water the lawn, to tankless water heaters that save both water and money. Currently, in-home voice control is led by Amazon's Alexa, but in the wider IoT, expect Google Assistant and Microsoft’s Cortana to have a big impact on ushering in a hands-free era. Most vendors of Alexa-compatible appliances and smart home devices express a strong interest in making their products compatible with Google Assistant also.

On the Industrial IoT side, expect voice control interfaces for machine operators and maintenance engineers out in the field to emerge.

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5. Smart Cities

A "smart city" is one that has developed technological infrastructure that enables it to collect, aggregate, and analyze real-time data to improve the lives of its residents. "Trends in Smart City Development" is a new report from the National League of Cities featuring case studies about how five cities are using different approaches to implement smart city projects. The report suggests that any smart city effort should include explicit policy recommendations regarding smart infrastructure and data, a functioning administrative component, and some form of community engagement. Cities are taking many different approaches to solving public problems, and there is no one-size-fits-all way to adopt and implement smart city systems, so they will continue to evolve as IoT technologies evolve.

For more information on the latest trends and IoT technologies, don’t miss LiveWorx 17!  View the Session Catalog by Education Track, Topic, Industry or Job Role to see over 200 breakouts and customize your agenda.  Gain a year’s worth of technical education in less than a week, and bring back fresh ideas to invigorate your team! 

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