With Cisco’s venture capital arm, Cisco Investments infusing more than $150 million globally in IoT startups and validating an optimistic stat of IoT industry reaching a market size of $14.4 trillion market by 2022, there is a little doubt on the potential that this industry holds. IoT has come as a wave of the next industrial revolution as it has become an indispensable part of consumers, businesses and government- all alike.
Bringing a wholesome transformation on how industries run, IoT has touched almost all the sectors from manufacturing, retail, automobiles, healthcare, agriculture, infrastructure, consumer electronics, home automation applications and energy/utilities to name a few.
With smart watches, smart glasses, smart cities, smart infrastructure, wearable devices, consumers are witnessing a phase of internet being extended beyond desktops and mobile devices. And why not, the dropped cost of sensors, processing power and bandwidth to connect devices are some of the reasons that have spurred the widespread deployment of IoT.
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IoT in various sectors/ use cases:
While IoT has created a lot of buzz, we interacted with a few industry experts to know their take on how IoT is paving a way through various sectors in India. Suniel Kumar G, Managing Director, Nexiot says that while IoT is promising to impact various sectors, industrial and asset tracking are seeing real implementation on a large scale in the current scenario. Smart cities & building/home automation applications are gaining huge traction too. For both industrial & asset tracking, the sectors have been adopting integration of sensor based electronics and information technologies (cloud, apps, analytics, etc.).
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Kiran Nataraj, Founder & CEO, Entrib opines that IoT is primarily being used in sectors like manufacturing (industrial IoT), retail and healthcare, while Rajeev Jha, Founder & Director, Yuktix believes that IoT can be utilized for metering and measurements.
With various industries seeking IoT as a crucial tool, there are many other ways that internet of things is being utilized with India perspective. As the initiatives by government on smart cities are gaining momentum, there has been a reasonable increase in the opportunities around it. Companies like Nexiot are helping the initiatives with their patented products for smart water management solutions that has high likeability for smart cities/ residential and industrial applications.
In agriculture space, internet of things is facilitating solutions that are coming thick and fast, affordable and accessible. There are companies like Zenatix that is working towards energy efficiency and electricity management using IoT and big data. The ability to capture huge amounts of data on wind, temperature and moisture is also allowing us to analyse the patterns and helping in combating the climate change.
“If you look at the scope and similar projects happening across the world, metering of any kind is a prime use case. The primary use cases would be in Grid monitoring and household consumptions in communities. Robotics, preventive maintenance and manufacturing are other areas where IoT is playing a role”, said Rajeev. “We are more active in environment monitoring (agriculture, pollution, compliance, worker safety) and urban infrastructure (smart cities, water quality in cities, traffic, waste management)”, he added.
Healthcare is another sector which is witnessing a booming involvement of IoT. Whether in the form of 3D printing, fitness and preventive healthcare, many products are taking the centre stage. Emergence of internet of things is healthcare sector has raised hopes in both urban and rural areas. Wearable connected device, remote patient monitoring, clinical trial applications are some of the ways IoT is revolutionizing healthcare space.
With the realization of the dream of an interconnected system that can manage traffic, predict and tackle congestion, IoT has proven its worth in transport and automobiles sector too. Autonebula, India’s first business incubator-accelerator, with a focus on connected transport aims to transform this.
These few exemplifications show how India specific IoT solutions and devices are making a rage and there is no doubt on the tremendous scope that it holds. To get a device that can be auto-magically configured to get data and control things is the holy grail of what people are trying to get. “While a lot of hardware platforms are being built, they all just support prototyping and hobby projects. Specialized hardware needs to be built once a prototype is working. One can’t get away with that, yet”, said Kiran.
“There are many sectors like agriculture, mining or environment where there is little technology penetration and that should translate to India specific devices and solutions in the future. The challenge, as usual is to find meaty use cases”, said Rajeev.
Role of analytics:
So, what role does analytics have to play in garnering a conducive platform for IoT? We asked for the opinion from industry stalwarts about how significant they thought was analytics to IoT and the relationship turned out to be indispensable. IoT is all about providing solutions by gathering data from end nodes and analytics is very much integral for end to end IoT solutions. Almost every IoT use case is dependent on lots of data for which analytics comes into picture.
Suniel stated that “domain experts looking at analytics is what will give IoT the true potential to start pushing Indian manufacturing ahead”. Kiran added that “analytics becomes even more critical when no. of sensor node increase and we see need to manage big data”.
Stressing on the importance of analytics, Rajeev Jha said that if you look at the basic promise of IoT in terms of opening data on the network, it cannot work without analytics. He added that the very premise of sensors leads to a huge data collection, examining which might be time consuming. And this is where analytics tools come into picture to flag anomalies, detect changes in patterns and allow users to zoom in on interesting piece of data quickly.
IoT being a huge sector in itself is expected to go through multiple hype curves believes Kiran. With IoT penetrating into various sectors, there are many emerging trends that are slated to be on a rise. Be it cloud – analytics applications, supply chain, smart energy & water management implementation, connected vehicle, beacon based application, emerging low power wireless technologies and manufacturing & logistics, the future of IoT is inordinate.