Internet Of Things Can’t Connect The Next Billion Until We Reinvent Mobile
The most innovative technology on the planet today has been in our back pockets all along: smartphones. Yup, you read right—mobile has re-emerged as the revolutionizing technology behind the latest revolutions like IoT, virtual reality, and machine learning. That’s because cellular technology is what will support connected coffeemakers, blockchain-enabled pharmaceutical supply chains, and machine learning algorithms in fashion retail stores — all delivering unprecedented efficiencies and actionable insights to businesses, governments, and communities. What’s lost in the fanfare is how these latest innovations are animating new conversations about mobile.
Road map to connect the next billion
“Connectivity has to be affordable, globally accessible, and energy-efficient for always-on performance,” said Rohit Tripathi, general manager and head of products for SAP Digital Interconnect. “One example is an agricultural equipment manufacturer aiming to help farmers save costs and increase crop yields with sensors that will track vehicles and monitor field cultivation activities.”
It’s not a stretch to say that mobile connectivity is among the many critical technologies making the latest incarnation of the digital economy hum. In scenarios large and small, from life-saving SMS messaging for schools and parents during natural disasters to real-time data collected from devices on factory floors, connectivity is crucial to everything. Connected cars will transform the automobile industry, potentially reducing tens of thousands of deaths from traffic accidents. Smart homes are within reach of anyone able to install an IoT-enabled thermostat. It’s an endless list backed by forecasts from heavy-hitting researchers.
Ovum reports there will be almost one billion cellular, machine-to-machine connections worldwide by 2020 within an IoT ecosystem of tens of billions of devices. By the same year, Gartner predicts IoT technology will be in 95 percent of the electronics we buy, and it’s smartphones that will activate these devices. Mobile messaging is another area undergoing fundamental change as billions of messages between consumers and companies involve smart bots. Forrester researchers predict intelligent agents will directly influence 10 percent of purchase decisions in 2018. Perhaps the bigger question is how hyperconnectivity between people and machines impacts global businesses and their customers.
“Leading companies are using the hyperconnected digital economy to transform operations and rewrite the rules of engagement with consumers and employees,” said Tripathi. “Whether it’s retail, consumer goods, manufacturing, logistics, transportation, hospitality, agriculture, energy or healthcare, the business of connecting everything is an important element every company needs to address for survival.”