The Internet of Things (IoT) isn’t just revolutionizing technology, it’s revolutionizing our lives, be that in the way we interact with the technology around us or even in the way we now approach everyday tasks. It is the nature of IoT that developments occur quickly, and in some cases, somewhat unpredictably, and of course we cannot examine IoT developments without taking a brief look at the impact that will have on society as a whole. So with that in mind, here are the trends to look out for in 2019:

IoT trends

Edge Computing

A lot has been said about the cloud, and its benefits are now almost universally acknowledged, but cloud technology it not without its drawbacks, namely the sheer amount of traffic that it creates in the network and the subsequent bandwidth costs that are associated to that.

The apparent solution here seems to be the rise of edge computing, which is the storage of the relevant data in micro-centers – partially stored local to the relevant device and so easily accessed for processing and so on. The result is a more cost-effective approach to mining the data that is required by IoT devices.

“Edge computing will certainly become more relevant in 2019 and beyond, but the evolution will absolutely not stop here. This is all part of what is being called a mesh architecture which will see more unstructured layers of architecture involving a variety of devices,” says Bradley Wooton, a business blogger at Lastminutewriting and Writinity.

Development in sensors

Sensor technology will continue to innovate, focussing primarily of the twin advantages of power efficiency and the amount of data that can be mined and assessed. Perhaps in the short term this will manifest in the availability of innovative sensors which are more affordable and are able to be used in a greater number of situations, meaning more interaction with devices in the home and office, for example.

5G

Perhaps the most vaunted development in IoT in the short term is the introduction of 5G technology into cellular networks. The main benefits of this technology will be more efficient power consumption (a similar theme among many of the main IoT developments), the quality of connection achieved and of course the accuracy and range of the network. Mobile devices will therefore, in essence, become even more capable as their efficiency and quality of connection are enhanced. It is also a key component of IoT that mobile devices can interact with other technological devices around the home and in the place of work, so 5G connectivity must be able to facilitate this.

Greater endpoint security

As an inevitable response to the fears many have raised, usually legitimately, about the added security threats an IoT society brings, developers have been working tirelessly on endpoint security, and this will continue to be a theme in 2019 and beyond.

Manufacturers of the actual devices employed have already been developing means by which to increase the effectiveness of endpoint security systems, but as edge computing becomes ever more prevalent, security measures are being developed to cover this new data storage phase, which will include issues of data loss, the health of the network and access privileges, among other points.

The user experience (UX)

User experience is already something that has been heavily influenced by IoT technology: think voice-activation software in the form of Alexa. User experience is a key driver of innovation and 2019 is sure to see the continued demise of touch-screen technology and keyboards. New types of sensors such as the previously-mentioned voice activation systems are already being introduced, with more to follow, and new digital architectures and algorithms are sure to push huge contextual changes in the way that we interact with our devices.

Societal changes inspired by IoT

This is the broadest area included on this list because it is not one area of innovation as such, but it does need to be included as it is perhaps the most important development stage in any technology: when something moves from the periphery as a niche technological innovation, to general acceptance and the ubiquity that brings. Think airplanes moving from military weapons to revolutionizing commercial travel, or social media platforms growing out of college campuses and into the world at large. This is what will continue to happen with IoT in 2019: it will move more into the mainstream.

And IoT is particularly sensitive in respect to social acceptance because there are already so many stigmas and fears attached to the rise in sophistication and intelligence of machines: think Terminator. But the reality is of course more legally sensitive issues such as data governance and algorithm bias that has already led to things like GDPR and of course scandals involving infonomics (the usage of big data to manipulate choices – even elections). These are issues which are continuing to enter the larger social consciousness and it is inevitable that as the IoT becomes more relevant, people will start to question even more the ethical and legal standpoints of what is happening: for me this will be the biggest development in IoT over the next couple of years,” states Priscilla Thomas, a tech editor at Draftbeyond and GumEssays.

Expect to see conversations develop in the field of data ownership and privacy, and of course more jurisdictions will passed their own versions of GDPR (think the California Consumer Privacy Act0, broadening its scope to cover all IoT developments. IoT governance in general will be one of the most impactful trends of IoT in 2019, and beyond.

Concluding points

As well as these specific developments, of course IoT will begin to penetrate further afield. As well as the home and smart offices, we will see the increased prevalence of IoT technology in hospitals, industrial environments, schools and universities, airports and other such places, as well as in our daily activities through IoT-enabled cars, supermarkets and a whole host of other activities that will further change the way in which we lead our lives. These are exciting times, but like any other times that bring significant changes, there are challenges too.

Author Bio – Harry Conley

Content editor Harry Conley can be found at LuckyAssignments and ResearchPapersUK where he is involved in the development of training and work flow activities to enhance the ability of writers, always seeking to unlock potential along the way. Another string to his bow is his interest in the provision of supplementary materials and instructional support for contributors.