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IoT predictions for 2019

The data economy, 5G’s early benefactors and new tools for citizen engagement – Chris Penrose, President of IoT Solutions, AT&T, shares his IoT predictions for 2019.


The Internet of Things (IoT) is changing the world as we know it. Over the years, the industry has talked about what the future might look like and how our lives might be different as more and more things become connected. That future is no longer a vision – it’s an exciting reality that’s taking shape today.


As we forge into 2019, here are some IoT trends and predictions that we see at AT&T.


The first mainstream self-driving ‘things’ likely won’t be cars


Tractors and farm equipment, heavy machinery for things like mining, drones and robots will lead the first wave of automation. While self-driving cars may eventually be a staple on the roadways, that reality is still many years away. These other machines will provide an early proving ground and will pave the way for mass automation in the future.


Cities will use gamification to encourage citizen engagement


Smart cities will use network technology in new ways to engage citizens, such as gamification. City residents will get points for things like paying their water bill on time, recycling, reporting potholes and for taking public transit instead of driving. Those points will be redeemable for discounts on services or VIP access to events in the city.


We’ll extend beyond connected things to connected spaces and connected experiences


From stadiums to entertainment districts to transportation systems, connectivity will be a key differentiator for fans and local citizens. Being able to identify the shortest concession line, find and pay for the nearest parking spot or order merchandise and have it delivered to your seat – all from your mobile device – will become more common when you attend your favourite sporting event or concert.


Video-as-a-sensor technology will enhance IoT data insights


Near-real-time imagery combined with near-real-time data provides a three-dimensional view of a business’s assets and processes. Companies and cities that adopt video sensors as part of their IoT strategy will have an enhanced ability to improve operations, save time and money, and increase public safety. Expect surveillance-as-a-service and inspection-as-a-service models to gain traction, and expect a new wave of multi-purpose IoT devices that include cellular-enabled cameras.


Manufacturing, healthcare and public safety are expected to be the early benefactors of 5G


Smart factories will revolutionise the manufacturing process as they connect the entire supply chain. The doctor-patient relationship and the traditional way that we think of healthcare will transform. And first responders will have new technology and lifesaving capabilities to protect citizens like never before.


First responders will have new technology and lifesaving capabilities to protect citizens like never before.


IoT solutions will be key to helping companies achieve their sustainability objectives by conserving water, reducing energy and fuel use and driving lower carbon emissions


More and more companies and cities will adopt IoT solutions with the goal of improving the environment and society for the greater good. Industrial IoT applications such as asset and fleet management solutions will unlock massive efficiencies and help reduce emissions across multiple industries such as manufacturing, transportation and logistics, and energy.


Global adoption of low power wide area networks will spur innovation and mass deployment of IoT devices


Smaller devices, increased battery life, integrated SIMs, spectrum efficiency and lower device costs with carrier-grade security will enable new IoT devices and services as Narrow-Band IoT and LTE-M networks become the fastest growing choice for IoT connectivity in 2019. Look for innovative pricing and service models to emerge as the network technology matures.


The data sharing economy will continue to gain momentum


Beyond the consumer sharing economy of things like houses, cars and scooters, more and more businesses will look to share valuable data.


Companies will be in an environment that allows partners, vendors, manufacturers and other third parties to share data and insights from disparate information sources in a trusted and highly secure manner. Data sharing and advanced analytics will be key to maximising the value of IoT.


IoT and AI will converge to spawn digital twins of assets and processes


Low-cost sensors, AI and 5G networks will allow customers to create virtual, software-based replicas of their physical devices and processes. That means that users, manufacturers and designers can receive near real-time insights and take action without ever being near their assets.


Digital twins of things like vehicles, cities and manufacturing facilities will drive a new wave of operational efficiencies and revenue streams.


Digital twins of things like vehicles, cities and manufacturing facilities will drive a new wave of operational efficiencies and revenue streams. They will also help engineers validate the design of a product at several points during its lifecycle.


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