Internet of Things
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2019 will see the Internet of Things (IoT) becoming more deeply embedded in our day-to-day lives at home and at work. We may begin to hear the term itself used less frequently – but that’s because it’s moving out of the hype phase and quickly becoming a part of everyday life. Soon, it will be taken for granted that pretty much any device we own – cars, TVs, watches, kitchen appliances  etc can go online and communicate with each other.  We’re getting used to using our voices to control smart home devices but 2019 will be the year that the rest of our possessions find their own voice. Virtually every car manufacturer is working on virtual assistants to help drivers more safely and conveniently operate vehicles while behind the wheel. And voice control (with natural-language driven feedback) will increasingly become an option for industrial and enterprise technology.

Businesses will increasingly see the value in connected machinery that is capable of reporting every detail of its operating parameters and efficiency to other smart, connected devices. Predictive maintenance is currently only achieved by the biggest players who have invested heavily in IoT for several years now, this should start to trickle down to smaller organisations.

5G networks will broaden the scope and availability of the IoT.  This year should see things rapidly moving ahead in New Zealand around the first consumer-ready 5G networks.  These could operate up to 20 times faster than existing mobile data networks.  IoT is reliant on speed and availability of data services, and today there are still many locations that are effectively “dark” when it comes to smart, connected tech, due to a lack of availability of these services.

With mobile networks that are even faster than the cable networks we’re used to connecting into our homes and offices today, the scope of IoT projects can broaden dramatically. The technology used by self-driving, autonomous cars, and public transport vehicles will also greatly benefit from the increased bandwidth available.

It’s going to be interesting to see how this all develops over the coming months and years.