America 2.0 Explained: Internet of Things (IoT)
The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the interconnection of computing devices embedded in everyday objects through the internet, enabling them to send and receive data.
In other words, the IoT is the technology that links all of the innovations that make up the world we live in, and will revolutionize the future.
What Is the Internet of Things?
At its core, the Internet of Things’ biggest driver is the internet itself. But it’s the way that the internet connects nearly every aspect of the modern world — through computers, smartphones, tablets and other devices — that makes the IoT a powerhouse mega trend for any investor.
We now live in a society that’s working toward technology that takes care of any and all of our day-to-day needs. This includes driving, locking our homes, home security and even just turning on your lights.
The IoT is revolutionizing the way the world works every day, and keeping this mega trend in mind when investing can lead to a well-versed portfolio that’s ready for the 21st century and beyond.
The IoT is also moving beyond streaming and information services — in part because examples such as the ones below give flesh-and-blood details to our mega trends, including:
- New web-connected sensors can tell farmers when crops are ripe and alert supermarkets when produce is past its freshness date.
- Putting the global library of medicine into the hands of doctors, as well as genetic records of patients.
- Transforming retail with web-based companies such as Amazon and Wayfair that are putting brick-and-mortar department stores and furniture showrooms out of business.
- Re-envisioning music through Spotify and iTunes, and sending CDs and LPs down the path of the eight-track tape.
- Helping video-streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu and others demolish traditional cable TV and DVD sales.
- Making social media sites such as YouTube, Twitter and Facebook into a juggernaut that’s all but killed traditional newspapers, magazines and network news.
Essentially, without the IoT, Paul Mampilly’s vision for the Fourth Industrial Revolution — what he calls America 2.0 — would not be possible. America 2.0 is remaking the way we live, work and play, and it’s transforming countless industries in the U.S. and around the world.
What’s Driving the Internet of Things?
The Internet of Things is driven by many factors across all of the mega trends that make up America 2.0. A few examples include:
- Retail: Internet-based stores replacing brick-and-mortar businesses and reshaping traditional industries. With people more often favoring online shopping over driving to a traditional store, it’s clear that the IoT-centered shopping is taking the lead.
- Entertainment: There’s a strong demand from today’s world for near-instantaneous access to all forms of media. Because of that demand, the IoT has a strong foothold in the progress of social media, streaming music, video and television, and mobile devices. The rise in the gaming industry among many demographics is also a driver in the IoT’s success. With the popularity of mobile app games and new portable gaming systems such as the Nintendo Switch surging, it’s just another reason why entertainment is a huge factor in the IoT’s growth.
- Artificial intelligence (AI): AI is a branch of computer science that aims to build machines that can “think” in ways that mirror — but go far beyond — the natural intelligence of humans. These “thinking machines” are programmed with the IoT’s software to have an almost “super human” ability to learn and solve problems. AI is poised to virtually transfer every major industry over the next decade or two, thanks mainly in part to its connection to the IoT expanding AI to its full potential.
- The millennial generation: Millennials are the most tech-savvy generation in U.S. history. They’re the first people to grow up with the internet and smartphones, and they’re on track to become the biggest wage earners, buyers and money managers since baby boomers. Millennials embrace the IoT every day as the largest user base for many of the industries we previously mentioned, including retail, social media, music, streaming entertainment, online video and phone services.
All these examples and more have a firm grasp on the direction that the IoT is headed — full speed ahead. With an eye toward the future, it’s easy to see why Mampilly believes that the Internet of Things could soon be known as the “Internet of Everything”.
What Is the Industrial Internet of Things?
There is another variant of the Internet of Things that Mampilly calls the “industrial Internet of Things.”
This subcategory of the IoT covers the mega trend as it relates to manufacturing, construction and other major industries that are now becoming more efficient thanks to their connection to technology.
And there are tech developments happening all around the world with semiconductor companies that facilitate the widespread adoption of the IoT in manufacturing plants and facilities.
So far, there are small scale projects at companies such as NVIDIA, Advanced Micro Devices and STMicroelectronics making progress toward the industrial IoT.
3D printing is also a huge component of the industrial IoT. 3D printers build three-dimensional objects from computer-aided designs, often in a layer-by-layer process.
For many industries, it is vastly superior to conventional manufacturing techniques — casting, machining or forging — where materials are poured into molds, cut to shape with lathes and other machines, or formed through presses, die-cast machines or hammers.
As a result, factory floors once filled with clunky heavy machinery — such as lathes used to shape metal, wood and other materials — are switching to lightweight and less-expensive 3D printers instead.
Which Companies Are at the Center of Fintech?
- Facebook Inc.
- Amazon.com Inc.
- Netflix Inc.
- Alphabet Inc. (Google).
- Uber Technologies Inc.
- Spotify Technology.
What Are the Internet of Things’ Global Market Projections?
According to Statista, the global market for the Internet of Things was expected to grow to $212 billion by the end of 2019. The IoT reached $100 billion in market revenue for the first time in 2017, and forecasts suggest that this figure will grow to around $1.6 trillion by 2025.