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80 ways IoT can change your life, your work, your car

What is the Internet of Things and why do your home security systems, cars, and washing machines need to be connected to the internet? We give you 80 reasons why…

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This article was republished with permission from the author. The original can be found here.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is defined by everyday objects, interconnected via the internet in order to send and receive data. The reason why we connect these objects is simple: for convenience. To help you understand this technology better for 2019 and 2020, we’ve created the following list of Internet of Things statistics.

Being able to arm your security system remotely, or start your washer, turn your lights on or off, or adjust the thermostat while being nowhere near them is a convenience our grandparents fantasized about. Looks like we will probably never have to worry about leaving the stove on again.

The Number of IoT Devices: Past, Present, and Future

1. There were 15.41 billion IoT connected devices in 2015.

Back in 2015, the number of Internet of Things connected devices was 15.41 billion. But Internet of Things statistics show that IoT devices started taking over the world even earlier than this; the first time that the number of IoT devices exceeded the number of people on Earth was in 2008.

2. There are 26.66 billion IoT devices in 2019.

The number of IoT devices keeps growing. Currently, there are 26.66 billion of these devices. The number keeps growing by the hour, so the question How many IoT devices are there? can’t be answered with great accuracy.

3. The number of IoT devices is expected to surpass 75 billion by 2025.

In just six short years from now, the number of IoT devices is expected to nearly triple and reach 75.4 billion by the year 2025. These numbers belong to the more humble group of expectations; a few years ago, Intel predicted that, by 2020, the number of IoT devices would reach 200 billion. So how many connected devices will there be in 2020? The answer is around 30.7 billion.

4. 127 new devices are connected to the internet every second.

Some people might have difficulties understanding just how many devices are interconnected using the internet. The information that 127 new devices join the IoT party every second should help with that.

5. The number of IoT devices was projected to exceed the number of mobile devices in 2018.

Early predictions showed that IoT devices should have surpassed mobile device numbers by 2018. However, they were able to do so even earlier; Internet of Things statistics show that these devices outnumbered mobile devices 3:1 in 2015.

Where IoT Devices Are Used Commercially

6. 40.2% of IoT devices are used in business and manufacturing.

The biggest user of Internet of Things devices is the business/manufacturing industry. IoT devices are used to control robotic machinery, provide diagnostic information about equipment, and deliver real-time analytics of supply chains.

7. 30.3% of IoT devices are used in the healthcare industry.

IoT statistics provided by Intel point out that the second largest IoT consumer is the healthcare industry. IoT devices find various applications here, from portable health monitoring to serving as a safety measure for personal records. A major role in preventing pharmaceutical manipulations is played by IoT devices, Intel says.

8. 8.3% of IoT devices are used in retail.

The third largest user of IoT devices are retail services. 8.3% of all IoT devices are involved in this market, and they serve various purposes, such as tracking inventory, servicing online clients, and conducting consumer analytics, the Internet of Things stats provided by Intel show.

9. 7.7% of IoT devices are used in security.

Most security systems are meant to communicate with some other device, therefore it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the fourth-largest application of IoT devices is in the business of security. Remote sensors, biometric and facial recognition locks, and many other similar devices all rely on IoT technology to perform their intended functions.

10. 4.1% of IoT devices are used in transportation.

With the growth of the Internet of Things, various devices have found their use in the transportation industry as well. From GPS locators and devices used for performance tracking to lane-keep assist and self-parking systems, vehicle manufacturers are our fifth-largest user of IoT devices.

11. 27% of all M2M connections are in China.

The IoT is most commonly used for commercial purposes, which you were able to read above. Machine to machine connections (M2M) are the most common in this sector.

According to the data available, 27% of all global M2M connections are in China. The Chinese government has invested more than $600 billion in this technology so far.

12. 29% of the M2M connections are in Europe.

Wondering how many IoT devices there are in 2018? In Europe and the 50 countries located on the continent, the number is just slightly higher than the total number of M2M connections located in China. If we compare continents, though, Asia holds 40% of all M2M connections.

13. 19% of M2M connections are in the US.

The US is far from being the leader in the industrial application of the IoT, with 19% of all M2M connections being located in the country. The rest of these connections are located in Latin America (7%), Africa (4%), and Oceania (1%), according to industrial IoT market size data.

Click here to read about the rapid increase of IoT devices.

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Nokia 7.2: The sweet-spot for mid-range smartphones

Nokia has hit one of the best quality-to-price ratios with the Nokia 7.2. BRYAN TURNER tested the device.

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Cameras are often the main factor in selecting a smartphone today. Nokia is no stranger to the high-end camera smartphone market, and its legacy shows with the latest Nokia 7.2.

In many aspects, the device looks and feels like an expensive flagship, yet it carries a mid-range R6000 price tag. From its vivid PureDisplay technology to an ultra-wide camera lens, it’s quite something to experience this device – especially knowing the price.

Before powering it on, one notices the sleek design. The front features a large, 6.3” screen, with a 19.5:9 aspect ratio. Like many phones nowadays, it features a notch, but it is smaller than the usual earpiece-and-camera notch. Instead, it features a small notch for the front camera only. It hides the front earpiece away in a slim cutout, just under the outer frame. While it’s not the highest screen-to-body (STB) ratio, it has a pretty slim bezel with an 83.34% STB ratio. It loses some of this to an elegant chin on the bottom that shows the Nokia logo. This is all protected by a Gorilla glass certification, which makes it a little more difficult to shatter on an impact.

It’s encased by a Polycarbonate composite outer frame, which seems metal-like but will withstand more knocks than an aluminium frame. On the right side, it features a volume rocker and a power button and, on the left side, a Google Assistant button, which starts listening for commands when pressed. Above the button is the SIM and SD card tray. On the top, it houses a very welcome 3.5mm headphone jack. On the bottom, it has a speaker grille and a USB Type-C port. Overall, the positioning of the buttons takes some getting used to because the Assistant button and power button are similarly sized, and many smartphones place the lock button on the opposite side of the volume rocker.

The back features a frosted Gorilla glass panel, like the front. The frosted design is quite understated and yet another elegant design feature of the device. A fingerprint sensor sits in the middle and, towards the top, the device has a circular camera bump, not too different from the Huawei Mate 30 series. The bump features two lenses, a depth sensor, and a flash. The camera system has been made in partnership with Zeiss optics to produce high-quality photography.

The back of the Nokia 7.2, showing off the 3 camera array

When powering on the device, one is greeted with the Android One logo, which is Nokia’s promise that its users will always be among the first to get the latest Android security and feature updates. This is one of the defining purchase points for users looking to get this device, as it features the purest, unedited version of Android available.

This, in turn, allows the device to run the latest software by Google that enables the device to get better over time. This is done by using Google’s Artificial Intelligence engine, which learns how one uses the device and optimises apps and services accordingly. That translates to the phone’s battery life actually extending over time, instead of deteriorating like other smartphones that are weighed down by battery hungry apps. The concept was pioneered by Huawei in the Mate 9.

The rear camera is excellent for snapping pictures and features a 48MP Sony sensor for accurate colour reproduction. This puts the device in the league of the Google Pixel and Apple iPhone devices, which also use Sony sensors. By default, the device is set to take pictures at 12MP, which is what makes the photos look great, as it blends 4 pixels into one for a high level of sharpness and colour accuracy, but users can bump up the resolution to the full 48MP if they want to zoom in a bit more.

The 8MP wide-angle lens spans 118-degrees, and proves extremely useful for getting everyone in the shot. It also features some great colour accuracy. The 5MP depth-sensing lens is purely for the portrait mode, which adds a blur effect to the background of the photo. It features a 20MP selfie camera, which also provides excellent sharpness and a portrait mode.

Picture taken with the Nokia 7.2 in Pro mode

The most impressive part of this system is the Pro camera setting, which can help take photos from excellent to extraordinary. We managed to get some excellent low light photography by adjusting the shutter speed, ISO, and exposure. The setting is pretty easy to use and it’s worth it for users to learn how it works.

The PureDisplay also helps make photos and video look great. The 7.2’s PureDisplay has a 2160 x 1080 resolution, at 401 pixels per inch (ppi). It also makes use of HDR10 and covers 96% of the DCI-P3 colour gamut, which makes the colours very vibrant. Some of these display features are not even found in some high-end phones on the market, so it’s very surprising that this tech is in a mid-range device.

At this price, there is one drawback: the processor. It houses a Qualcomm Snapdragon 660, which is neither bad nor good. It performs well in many situations, but begins to stutter on heavier graphical applications like Fortnite and PUBG Mobile. That said, all other applications of the device work perfectly, and multi-tasking is very fluid between regular apps.

At a recommended selling price of R6,000, the Nokia 7.2 is one of the most feature rich and aesthetically pleasing devices available in this price range.

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Voice interface moves digital wars to ‘first mile’

By RICHARD MULLINS, Managing Director for EMEA at Acceleration

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Anyone who often travels on the London tube will notice people around them – usually students and young professionals – speaking into their smartphones even in sections of the underground without Wi-Fi or cellular coverage. They’re not sweet-talking their mobile devices, but cueing up a series of WhatsApp voice messages to be sent to their friends and colleagues as soon as they walk back into an area with an Internet connection.

This shift away from text-based and visual communication to multi-sensory (voice and visual) is one of the most significant trends to emerge from the next wave of artificial intelligence technologies. Many members of Generations X and Y abandoned voice calls for instant messaging once they got smartphones; now, the next generation are becoming more vocal in how they interact with – and through – machines.

We’re already seeing rising adoption of conversational voice interfaces, as young and imperfect as the technology still is. Research from comScore predicts that half of all searches will be performed via voice by 2020, while a study by Voicebot.ai indicates that nearly one in five US adults own a smart speaker or have access to one in their homes.

This trend is one reason that we are seeing the battle for the digital customer move away from the ‘last mile’ to the ‘first mile’ at a rapid speed. Now that the giants of ecommerce have largely solved the ‘last mile’ challenge of reliable logistics and rapid delivery, they are looking at ways they can tighten their grip on the first digital mile, where customers engage with and discover content, product and services.

Raising the stakes

This race to own the customer interface is not new, but the stakes are rising. We already live in a world with two major smartphone platforms (Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android), and now a handful of companies (Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Apple and Amazon) are seeking to own the voice interface with smart devices like speakers, kitchen appliances and home security systems.

Most consumers are today using voice conversation interfaces for simple content requests – Alexa, give me the news headlines; Siri, play my party mix – and the experience can be somewhat clunky. However, technology is improving exponentially, as we saw earlier this year when Google demoed its assistant phoning a hairdresser to make an appointment on behalf of a user.

Such interfaces are likely to become the place where a high proportion of customers are converted and complete transactions in the next few years. In other words, the likes of Apple and Google will have even more power over what consumers see, hear and interact with than they do today. Brands should be thinking about how they will prepare themselves for this future.

One of the first considerations is how they can use voice to engage with customers in an increasingly natural and simple nature. Today, it is usually easy to tell when you are speaking to a virtual assistant or chatbot, but in future, these interfaces will become harder to tell humans and machines apart, unless you are told.

This is an opportunity to offer personalised service in an automated manner—the human touch at machine scale. Brands that offer the best experiences through their conversational interfaces will have a competitive advantage. This will not just be about the AI driving the interaction, but also about how brands use data to personalise interactions and make them more relevant to customers.

How will you reach your customers?

Brands also need to decide how they will reach their customers in the first place – will they create services for platforms like Alexa and focus on mobile apps? Or will they try to take control of more of the digital first mile themselves? This will be a daunting challenge, but the rewards may be significant since the companies in the digital first mile will control the data and own the customer.

For this reason, we can expect to see those companies with the resources to do so focus on owning more of the customer interface and becoming the gateways to service and commerce for their client base. They will partner with other big brands to create platforms, experiences and digital destinations where customers can purchase a variety of goods and services.

Consider examples such as how Discovery’s Vitality weaves together healthcare, lifestyle brands and financial services, then think about how they might evolve in a digital world. Brands have long cooperated through strategies such as white label products, sponsorship agreements and distribution deals, but the next wave of digital change will take it to a new level.

As this shakes out in the years to come, brands will need to focus on building a technical architecture that enables them to rapidly partner with other brands to roll out innovative solutions and services. They will also need to consider how and where they will capture customer data and which touchpoints they can use to own the customer relationship.

The challenges will not be purely technical in nature. There is the human element of blending AI and people into ‘teams’ that deliver the best possible customer experience. Companies will also need to think about their business models and where they fit into the value chain. Those that align AI and data behind a coherent business strategy will be the ones who will win the first digital mile.

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