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Where is the Internet of Things heading in 2014?

Rebecca Merrett | Dec. 5, 2013
More use cases for the Internet of Things in enterprises will emerge next year

More vehicles will be connected in 2014 and use technology such as Holden's MyLink in car entertainment system. Source: Holden
More vehicles will be connected in 2014 and use technology such as Holden's MyLink in car entertainment system. Source: Holden

Analysts have predicted that the Internet of Things will continue to grow in 2014, and more enterprises will start to realise the potential benefits.

Kristian Steenstrup, Gartner Fellow, says the cost of devices and connectivity will gradually decrease and more use cases for the Internet of Things in enterprises will emerge next year.

He says there will be more near-term investment in the Internet of Things for equipment in mining, engineering and utility industries, in particular.

"Companies like Rio Tinto and BHP are starting to automate their mining environments using driverless trains, autonomous trucks. We are also seeing power utilities deploying smart grid technology," Steenstrup says.

He says the realisation of benefits will come more to light in these industries in 2014, which will spur on more take up of technology. Some of the benefits include the ability to reduce costs by monitoring usage of equipment more accurately, reduce risk by being able to prevent equipment failures, and collect and analyse richer data sets to "work your strategies much better than if you are flying blind".

"In those kinds of businesses, you can't go and invent a new version of iron ore, you can't go and innovate a new electron — you are stuck with what you have got. So it's how you do it that becomes more important to you. The take up in industry is very high because it leads to profitability."

Transportation is another area where the Internet of Things is going to take off next year, Steenstrup adds.

"Being able to locate your assets, whether they be trains, cars, buses or planes and being able to determine their health and condition, the Internet of Things will allow a much more current view of what the equipment is up to," he says. "If you look at what taxis are doing with their automated dispatch — those are examples the Internet of Things."

Graham Barr, research director, telecommunications at IDC, says in-car technologies, such as fitted SIM cards that communicate back to insurance companies on how a car is being driven and where and when an accident has occurred, will continue to emerge next year.

Smart buildings is another example where the Internet of Things will continue to evolve next year. Steenstrup says there will be a growth in technologies used to help monitor a building's power and water consumption, occupancy, temperature, etc.

Tim Sheedy, Forrester analyst, has a different view to Steenstrup and Barr. He says 2014 will be the year that "the Internet of Things is really going to get personal", where there are more things a consumer connects to as oppose to things an enterprise connects to.

 

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