The Internet of Things and the Fourth Industrial Revolution
The first three industrial revolutions were triggered by steam, electricity, and, and wired computers which transformed people’s way of life and manufacturing and brought digital capabilities to billions of people. Now the fourth industrial revolution is already taking shape thanks to the rapid progress of the Internet of Things (IoT) and the new opportunities presented by this revolution are incredible.
What is the Internet of Things?
The Internet of Things can be defined as a huge network of the Internet-connected objects that are able to gather and exchange information using embedded sensors. The Internet of Things has received enormous attention over the last years but it is still in its early days. Although it is proceeding more slowly than expected, it is on the verge of creating a new world that may not have seemed possible only a few years ago.
The number and the variety of electronic devices connected to the internet are constantly increasing, and, according to opinion of professionals, it will reach 34 billion in 2020 and IoT devices will account for 24 billion. Experts predict that by 2050, over 100 billion of IoT devices will be connected to the Internet, including mobile and wearable devices, industrial sensors, appliances, medical devices, cars, security cameras, and other technologies. All these IoT devices will produce, collect, and share vast amounts of data that will transform the way how we live, work, and do business:
Using information generated through IoT, people will make smarter decisions.
Web-connected devices will automate many tasks that now require human labor.
There will be a global network of smart machines that will be able to do an enormous amount of business without human intervention.
IoT will have a positive impact on personal productivity, public safety, and economic efficiency but it will also increase concerns about cybersecurity and privacy.
There are predictions that by 2020, at least 16 sectors of the economy can be transformed over by this emerging technology. By bringing together sensors, cloud storage, connectivity, processing, machine learning and analytics, IoT may transform countless industries, from healthcare to manufacturing, utilities, transportation, agriculture, government and more and create real economic value. The digitalization of the physical world will open enormous opportunities to innovate different services and products and to increase the efficiency of operations. According to McKinsey Global Institute, the potential annual impact of the Internet of things can be estimated from $4 to $11.1 trillion in economic value by 2025.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution
IoT is the crucial trend of our time. Today’s rapid convergence of the physical and digital world is already beginning to fundamentally change many important aspects of our lives and businesses. Living in a society, we need greater sustainability and less waste, more personalized and mobile services, greater inclusion, and less impact of the climate change. These issues can be solved with the Internet of Things which offers a potential for the fourth industrial revolution that differs from the previous ones fundamentally. We see emerging of a range of new technologies that are integrating the physical, the digital and the biological worlds, influencing all fields of knowledge, industries, and economies and even changing the way we think.
Genetic editing, self-driving vehicles, artificially intelligent robots, mobile supercomputing, and more are the evidence of dramatic changes happening around us. We are living in exciting times with new opportunities to develop economy, to grow innovation, and improve society so everyone could benefit from this fusion of digital and physical world.
The Internet of Things is a global force that has a huge potential to change the history of mankind and transform our world for the better.