When you Google the term “Connected Devices”, (as always) you come across a plethora of definitions. While there is no any “source of truth” for what a connected device means, it includes smartphones, TVs, tablets. A very simple example can be derived from the example stated here in this design fiction, if you inform Amazon Alexa (a voice assistant) for a certain task to be done in the evening, your Amazon Alexa mobile app will inform you about that task at a specific time.
This means, we are effectively dealing with an ecosystem which is connected by various mediums. These mediums can be handheld devices, laptops or computers. The example we saw illustrates a typical scenario in a connected home. Extrapolating it to a city level, a traffic signal controller (TS1), which takes inputs from previous the similar controller in the previous lane/intersection (TS0) becomes a good example of connected device.
Let us dive deep into the connected devices.
Birth of Connected Devices
The first device to get connected over internet was a Coke Machine in early 1980s. This machine at Carnegie Mellon University was connected over the Internet, programmers could check the status of machine and see if there is a cold drink waiting for them.
Interestingly, the term “connected device” was coined by Kevin Ashton co-founder and executive director of the Auto-ID Center at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1999. So, there were examples of using Connected Device way before the term came into vocabulary.
What does this mean for IoT Revolution?
As the number of connected devices increase, the medium extensively used to connect them is Internet. So, as IoT revolution progresses in the later part of 21st century, the Things in Internet of Things will inevitably will be connected devices.
A research conducted by Cisco Internet Solutions Group predicts 50 billion connected devices by 2020. This is huge! We are already looking at buzz words such as Connected Cities and Connected Cars, this number is not a surprise at all!
Connected Devices Examples
Nowadays, in many countries, there is an increase in demand for secure homes. When a real estate company is coming up with a residential area, they are making extensive use of Internet of Things to connect the voice assistants to manage energy consumption and put the family’s favorite show with voice control. This is already in development at Bengaluru, India.
Also, according to a report by Statista, due to plentiful digital assistants and compatible products, Indian Smart Home market is predicted to hit 7.2% by 2020.
With consumers making conscious choice to track their activities on a daily basis, Apple shown an upper hand in smartwatch market in Q2, 2018. Alongside, we have brands like Garmin, Amazon Fitbit which are providing the users with great features to create a fitness regime.
While health remains the topmost priority for consumers, with AR/VR devices, there is an inclination towards added level of user experience.
With increasing number of vehicles and requirement to conserve energy, Smart Cities are making use of connected devices more than ever. Pollution, traffic congestion, shortage of energy supplies are making a good case for using connected devices in each corner of the city.
Along with Internet of Thing(IoT), Industrial IoT(IIoT) is also attracting great traction. As Jeff Immelt, CEO of GE Electric puts it, IIoT is “beautiful, desirable and investable” asset. With more and more industries needing ability to track goods, information interchange of available inventory, quicker delivery of goods, Industrial IoT is finding it’s extensive use.
According to GE, the improvement industry productivity will generate $10-$15 trillion in GDP worldwide over next 15 years.
Apart from these domains, Connected Cars is also one of the other trending domains.
Looking into the Future
With IoT making it’s appearance in consumer as well as industrial world of needs, one can say without doubt that we will be able to see many connected devices which will create an ease in our lives. Protocols such as Wifi, Bluetooth, LPWAN, Physical Web are proving useful in converting the innovative, creative IoT idea into reality.