The Internet of Things is growing rapidly. Increasingly sophisticated applications are driving forward consumers, industry and numerous sectors. In 2023 seven IoT trends are especially in focus.One of the eye-catchers at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas was a rollable TV display that rolls out of and back into its stand. The technology could also take over the displays of wearables, vehicles, robots and other smart Internet of Things (IoT) devices.The very first IoT device in 1982 was a Coke vending machine, but this year—depending on which market researchers you ask—30, 40 or even 50 billion devices will be connected on the IoT. Its rapid growth will lead in 2023 to yet more technology trends and digital developments. This is an (unweighted) overview of this year’s most discussed IoT innovations in the technology sector:
1. Green IoT
More and more companies aim to reduce their CO2 emissions, be it to comply with political specifications or to satisfy customers’ wishes for more sustainability. Green IoT is a term used to describe applications that contribute in an industrial context toward increasing efficiency, saving resources and reducing emissions. Transparency is often lacking, especially along supply chains. That is where IoT technology and digital connectivity can help prevent waste, make deliveries more efficient and reduce fuel consumption. In manufacturing too, IoT technology provides many ways to optimize processes and conserve resources, such as predictive maintenance. Until now enterprises have mainly adopted applications of this kind to save time and cut costs. In 2023, additional climate protection effects will finally make IoT a win-win technology.
2. AIoT: IoT Meets Artificial Intelligence
The interplay of AI and IoT generates genuine added value for many IoT domains, especially in automation and networked manufacturing. Thanks to AIoT (Artificial Intelligence of Things) machines supply via their sensor technology data that is evaluated swiftly and efficiently by means of machine learning. In this way companies convert large amounts of data into usable information and can implement new applications and business models on, say, the basis of this analysis. Enterprises can implement AI solutions of this kind in the cloud or run them directly on the device by means of edge computing. Telekom offers a practical solution: the IoT Cloud of Things, a platform on which companies can keep an eye on their connected devices and make use of a wide range of analytical tools.
3. Digital Twins in the Enterprise Metaverse
Here too, two important technology trends meet each other. In an enterprise metaverse companies can use data from IoT sensors to create digital twins of many different systems—from production facilities to a shopping center. With the aid of metaverse technologies such as VR headsets users are then able to dive deep into these digital twins in order to better understand how they function and how adjusting individual variables can influence business results. The IoT Solution Optimizer: works in much the same way. It is an online service companies can use to test planned IoT projects in depth by means of a digital twin. In the test environment enterprises configure the right solution and save time and expense in its implementation.
What especially matters in this year’s industrial IoT environment: Companies must create more transparency and eliminate obstacles such as outdated processes. In order at long last to secure a 360-degree view of production and drive forward the long-term target of automation they can now fully network their manufacturing facilities. It also makes sense to feed real-time data into the Enterprise Resource Planning system and make it visible on many terminal devices.
The Internet of Things offers many advantages, but like any wireless infrastructure its networks are susceptible to hacker attacks if they are not adequately protected. And each extra connected device is a further target for attack. In view of the skyrocketing number of IoT devices companies must therefore be prepared to invest in safeguards and IT security to protect their data and not give rise to misgivings among customers and business partners. The challenge is that IoT security is a complex subject that involves the network, the software and all connected devices and systems. The multiplicity of different threats does not make matters easier. The best protection of IoT infrastructure from real and present attack scenarios is up-to-date security software and certified hardware.
6. IoT in Healthcare
In healthcare smart products will in future have a great potential to support patients and ease the burden on hospital staff and care workers. Smart drinking cups for example measure whether patients regularly drink enough water, which makes them important digital assistants. Networked cardiac pacemakers enable physicians to monitor their patients remotely. So the healthcare sector is one of the most important industries for the use of IoT technology. Yet hospitals have until now paid a high price for IoT innovations that are incompatible isolated solutions. That shows how important uniform standards are for the success of IoT solutions.
7. IoT Regulation and New Standards
In September 2022 the European Commission adopted the Cyber Resilience Act (CRA). Its purpose is to limit the misuse of IoT products. Manufacturers are required to observe cybersecurity in all steps that a product undergoes. This year the EU is expected to introduce legislation requiring manufacturers and users of smart devices to observe stricter rules in, say, collecting and storing data. EU regulations on edge computing are also anticipated. In edge computing devices collect and process data where it originates rather than sending it to central cloud servers for analysis. Controlled growth of the Internet of Things that respects data protection and the personal rights of users and consumers is important.
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