The Future Ought to be ‘Smart’

How IoT will turn out to be the game-changer for you, me, and the nation at large
CarIQ allows car drivers to make decisions based on real-time data that is captured from the car; Fin, a Bluetooth device from RHLvision, enables one to control any smart devices by moving the thumb over the other fingers; Ducere’s GPS-enabled smart sports shoe, LeChal, vibrates to give the wearer directions. The shoe also counts the number of steps taken, distance travelled and calories burnt by the wearer; Cardiac Design Labs offers a device that helps cardiac patients in rural India to connect with a specialist doctor in case of emergencies.

Our world today is replete with examples of companies driving innovation using Internet of Things (IoT). IoT is predicted to be the world’s most massive device market, and by the year 2020, an estimated 50 billion devices will be connected to the internet.

IoT is leading a paradigm shift globally as innumerable machines, devices, sensors, actuators and other objects get interconnected to each other and to higher-level systems. Importantly these connected things are becoming smarter – rather than just aggregating raw data, they are increasingly enabling further evaluation of information for speedy decision making.

IoT: Bringing the Electronic System Design and Manufacturing (ESDM) and the IT Industry Together

IoT is a unique domain that brings the ESDM industry and the IT industry together. According to Machina Research, the global market for IoT in 2020 will be worth $373 billion in revenue, with $194 billion coming from hardware and $179 billion from software. India is expected to account for at least $18-20 billion of this total revenue forecast.

Smart devices aggregate a huge amount of data. These connected devices rely on innovation from the ESDM industry to efficiently aggregate and transmit more data while also reducing the total cost of ownership.

The IT industry, on the other hand, has a major role to play in extracting intelligence from this information, and leveraging this intelligence to make smart devices respond to triggers automatically. IoT relies on IT industry to improve decision making capabilities of smart devices. Cloud computing and big data add other dimensions to IoT.

What I personally find very fascinating is that the impact of IoT, particularly in the Indian context, goes beyond individuals and businesses. IoT has the potential to be the game-changer that can help us leapfrog the various challenges we face as a nation.

IoT for Transforming India

Over 70% of India’s rural households are dependent on agriculture, and most of the techniques used in farming are archaic and vulnerable to the vagaries of nature. IoT might just be the answer this sector’s needs, with applications including soil and plant monitoring, tracking of temperature and humidity, precision agriculture and more.

A transformational change in healthcare delivery can be brought about by innovative use of IoT. The fastest emerging trend is in telemedicine which involves remote treatment of patients via video-conferencing on the internet. Wearable devices are yet another revolutionary application of IoT. These medical devices help monitor patients’ health on a real-time basis without disrupting their daily routines. They can also send out alerts to a doctor / family member in emergencies.

The transport sector is looking at ways to make vehicles more productive, intelligent and safe. Applications of IoT in this industry include GPS-based tracking and remote diagnostics. With the average urban Indian spending several hours in his/her car, infotainment and safety systems are going to see massive technology influx – from in-vehicle communication to advanced driver assist systems – the potential for IoT is immense.

Smart Cities
It is a well-acknowledged fact that most of our cities are today ill-equipped to cater to the rapidly growing demand for energy and other civic amenities. Again, IoT may have some of the answers. Smart homes and smart meters for electricity and water can help conserve precious resources; smart grids and smart cities can help control the generation, distribution and usage of resources efficiently.

The Future
At IESA, we recognize the immense potential of IoT – and we are only just scratching the surface here. I firmly believe that in the years to come IoT will improve our everyday life, transform businesses, increase productivity, improve governance and deliver huge value to the society.

A National Policy on Internet of Things is expected to be released shortly by the government. This will give further boost to the domain. The recently announced Electronics Development Fund will also go a long way in attracting innovative start-ups in this space.

While several large organizations are taking serious note of IoT in recent years, what is noteworthy is the number of start-ups which have started to make their presence felt. Encouraging start-ups and helping them take their ideas to the market is a major focus area for us.

If you are a start-up in the IoT domain or a large organization that is looking to leverage the power of IoT, we would like to know how we can help you. And if you haven’t started seeing the opportunity in IoT yet, it is indeed time to rethink and ensure that you don’t miss this opportunity to change the course of the ESDM industry, the IT sector, and our nation.

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