The coming boom in IoT-enabled smart products is about to create a series of unprecedented and connected benefits for users everywhere.
Imagine this scenario – You’ve just done some exercise and you’re feeling good: your wearable fitness band tells you that you’ve burned the right number of calories. When you get home, your wearable automatically links up with your smart blood pressure monitor, which congratulates you on getting closer to your target. Your smart rice cooker then uses this data to suggest a healthy lunch for you, even giving you permission to have dessert!
This is not some hypothetical far-distant future, at least according to Wang Xiang, senior vice president of Chinese electronics giant Xiaomi, thanks to an explosion in everyday IoT-enabled devices, this could be happening soon. Wang says that Xiaomi’s “fitness band records different metrics such as your daily steps, sleep habits, and heart rate. [When used with] our smart weight scale or smart blood pressure monitor, Xiaomi could partner with other companies to offer customised exercise or dietary programmes.”
Personalisation is one of the greatest benefits of the Internet of Things, and it extends far beyond our homes and exercise regimens. Paired with the incredible leaps being made in machine learning and AI, we are poised on the edge of a new era of connectivity. Some more examples: in aviation, IoT tech will bring much-needed improvements in baggage handling, with passengers able to see exactly where their bags are in real time – no more lost luggage! Personalised communication between airlines, passengers and ground staff will make gate changes and last minute adjustments more clear to passengers – no more missed flights!
The automotive world is on the verge of creating the personalised driver experience – BMW is working with IBM’s Watson AI platform to develop a way for drivers to hold regular conversations with their cars to diagnose problems and chat about their route and driving conditions.
Then there are the boundless healthcare opportunities – implantable devices like pacemakers can be monitored remotely by doctors, with any problems triggering instant alerts and saving lives. And at certain hospitals in the US, newborn babies are issued with wristbands that can be tracked wirelessly. If a baby is taken too near an exit door without permission, the hospital’s exit doors will automatically lock.
The business world is already committed to the IoT and investment is growing exponentially. The evidence is everywhere: Xiaomi’s continued growth, SoftBank’s launch of its US$100 billion SoftBank Vision Fund which will keep the company invested in assets across the connected device ecosystem, and the impressive revenues brought in by IoT-invested companies like Amazon Web Services, ARM and Cisco. If this across-the-board upward trajectory continues, new devices will be creating personalised benefits for us all before we know it.