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THE SHAPE OF


Does the Internet of Things mean smart returns from smart devices?


With industrial and consumer uptake growing exponentially, the Internet of Things is disrupting the way businesses operate. Scott McCulloch explores the implications for family firms


T 84


hink of the billions of physical devices connected to the internet, devices that collect and share data, and you get a sense of the Internet of Things (IoT).


Combine these things with sensors, automated


and networked systems, software that analyses data and creates actions, and a sharper picture emerges. Cheap processors and wireless networks have made it possible to turn anything, from a door lock to an aeroplane, into part of the revolutionary concept. IoT has injected digital intelligence into devices that would be otherwise be dumb, enabling them to communicate without a human involved. Gartner, the international research firm, estimates


that by the end of 2017, there were 3.8 billion connected things out there—smart cars, smoke


CAMPDENFB.COM


detectors, industrial robots, heart monitors, trains, even toasters. By 2020, Gartner estimates there will be 25 billion smart devices transmitting tiny amounts of data to us, to the cloud and to each other. One study estimates that 35% of US


manufacturers are already using data from smart sensors to increase efficiency and reduce operational waste. IBM is developing a multi-application gas sensor that could help airports detect and track


ISSUE 74 | 2018


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