This vendor-written piece has been edited by Executive Networks Media to eliminate product promotion, but readers should note it will likely favour the submitter's approach.
It's undeniable that the Internet of Things (IoT) is poised to overhaul every aspect of modern life. From refrigerators to fitness products, we can expect things that were never connected to soon come online. In fact, Gartner is predicting that a typical family home in mature markets like Singapore, could contain several hundred smart objects by 2022.
Connected devices are changing more than just the way consumers live, work and play - they're reshaping entire industries. By adding more intelligence and connectivity to the objects surrounding us, huge amounts of data are produced that companies can leverage to improve their operations, better serve customers and create entirely new ways of doing business.
For example, IoT is driving a paradigm shift in manufacturing - Industry 4.0 - that will make it possible for manufacturers to gather and analyze data across machines, enabling faster, more flexible and more efficient processes to produce higher-quality goods at reduced costs. Retailers are leveraging the copious amounts of data produced by IoT to improve the customer's in-store experience, improve store layout and shape merchandise placement strategies. And governments are finding innovative ways to take advantage of the increasingly networked physical world, like Singapore's own Smart Nation initiative, which will use IoT to improve government services, better connect its citizens and encourage private-sector innovations.
The basic premise of each of these examples is that by enabling machines to communicate, we can unlock a fantastic combination of big data and automation. That means reduced costs, valuable analytics and a plethora of new services.
But how do we make this leap? There is a lot that goes on behind the scenes in order to make IoT come to life. While users may be launching a simple app on their smartphone, for example, there is a lot that goes into making that simple digital experience work.
Take for example, a smartphone app used to control a smart refrigerator - one that allows you to check what's in your refrigerator at any time or anywhere just using your phone, with cameras that clearly show the shelves inside, so you can quickly take a look when you're out shopping. There are multiple pieces at play making this all work: the WiFi-enabled touchscreen, a receiver, a transmitter, cameras and sensors. All of these components are connected together and data is sent and received via an internet gateway to the cloud. From there, the data must be stored and processed with the help of software on the provider's back-end infrastructure. It is only in the final step that a user can see that the milk carton in the fridge is empty and do the necessary shopping on their smartphone app.
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