The Internet of things (IoT) is upon us and it's time to prepare. Researchers at IDC estimate that in 2020 there will be 26 times more connected things than people. And earlier this year, Wikibon forecasted that, by 2020, $154 billion will be spent on a business version of the IoT called the “Industrial Internet”. Today, the IoT affects our day-to-day work in terms of how we interact with things around us. In the future, we can expect the IoT, or “Industrial Internet”, to generate new job roles and responsibilities and to modify the way we commute, communicate and collaborate. In this blog we will discuss how location data is helping businesses to communicate between humans and machines and how companies can cash in on the benefits of the IoT.
Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project found that 74% of smartphone owners are using their devices to get directions and other location-related information (up from 55% in May 2011). But location data is not only useful to smartphone owners, Carrier Network Mobile Location can be used to find any device connected to any network – including dumb phones and M2M devices. Today, mobile location plays a leading role in fields including but not limited to: asset tracking, emergency response, disaster management, environmental sampling, municipal and utility maintenance operations, and location marketing. And that's just through mobile and M2M devices. The IoT means that soon trillions of everyday objects will be part of our digitation information environment.
But how? In a detailed report Location Matters: Spatial Standards for the Internet of Things, ITU explains the science behind location technology and the different ways location can be obtained. Internet connectivity enables LBS (location-based services) to take advantage of everything available through the World Wide Web such as search, video and video conferencing, music, social networking, file sharing, shopping, advertising and more. Smartphones, which are designed for IP, have opened the door to applications (apps) that leverage both Internet-resident resources (the cloud) and the phones extraordinary processing power, sensors and graphical user interfaces to provide unprecedented capabilities, many of them location-based.
The location opportunity is worth millions if not billions when you add up the savings location-based services can bring. And with 2014 just around the corner, now is the time to re-strategize and make sure to incorporate LBS to realize these savings while also making your business stronger and leaner.