Smart Technology To Look Forward In 2020 Including IoT Trends

Manvendra K. Chandola, CEO, Riversong IndiaPrior to Riversong, Manvendra has gained extensive experience working across verticals such as FMCG (Pepsi & Parle Frooti), Retail (Reliance Fresh) and Mobile Phone (Samsung CDMA, HTC & Micromax), Data Card and Tab Business, amongst others

The last few years have been nothing short of exciting for tech enthusiasts. Smartphones and computers have gotten smaller yet more powerful and efficient. We have seen games that take advantage of Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR). Artificial Intelligence (AI), which until a few years ago sounded like something from a dystopian future, is already being used in computing devices as well as in the automation industry. In 2020, we are bound to see more advancements as well as refinements in the tech we already have. Technologies like 3D printing could help create accurate prosthetics, processors, drones etc. leading to a reduction of costs and wastage of materials. AI and Machine Learning could change the way we interact with our smartphones. Self-driving cars could prove very useful for people with disabilities and could potentially make the roads safer by eliminating human errors such as drunk driving, speeding, and distractions. There will be a rise in 5G networks, and that would lead to significant advancements in VR, AR and the Internet of Things (IoT).

The Internet of Things is basically how machines and devices interact and communicate with each other to improve automation and efficiency in daily tasks. Devices connected over the same network exchange data between themselves. Imagine your microwave sending you a text instead of beeping loudly when it's done heating your food, or using your phone to turn on the A/C in your car before you even enter it. There have been major developments in the technology space in this past decade. According to research done by Gartner, Inc., the number of connected devices will exceed 20.8 billion by the end of 2020. Here are a few trends to look out for in 2020.

5G Networks
5G networks are already being developed with full force, with most telecom companies participating in the `race to 5G'. These networks operate at much higher frequencies (28GHz-29GHz), which allows them to be four to five times as fast as LTE networks, but that also means that
the signals cannot travel as far and aren't able to penetrate objects well enough. While there isn't much 5G infrastructure yet, we may see a lot more of it in 2020. The combination of super fast 5G speeds, low latency and reach could allow us to develop IoT devices to their full potential.

Cloud Computing
Simply put, it is the on-demand delivery of computer services such as storage, servers, analytics etc. Instead of buying and maintaining expensive data centres and servers, you can access these services on a need basis from a cloud technology provider. For example, healthcare companies use the cloud to develop more personalized treatments for patients, financial services companies use the cloud for real-time fraud detection, and software companies use the cloud for computing power for development and analytics.

5G networks are already being developed with full force, with most telecom companies participating in the `race to 5G'

Edge Computing
At a basic level, Edge computing is computing that's done near the source of the data, instead of sending it to the cloud located at a data centre thousands of miles away, and waiting for it to process the data. Edge computing eliminates latency issues, especially in case real-time data, ensuring that an application's performance isn't hindered.

Think about security cameras that send live footage from a building to the cloud. Multiple cameras transmitting data at the same time hurt the connection. Hence, the video quality suffers due to latency, and bandwidth costs drive up tremendously. Having the processing done locally helps with latency all the while reducing costs, making edge computing very effective.

Smart Home Devices
Smart devices and appliances were created to increase the comfort and quality of life. They can be controlled via an app on your phone. Imagine adjusting your home's temperature with your phone before you reach home, or without leaving the comfort of your bed on a cold winter night. Smart home devices are on the rise, and 2020 would see even bigger adoption rates for these devices.

Voice Assistants
IoT allows assistants to become a part of all connected devices. Speaking into your phone and asking it to turn off your lights, or lock your doors is not only convenient but very efficient. Voice assistants can provide information, call or text people on your behalf, control smart home appliances, and some even allow you to order products off the internet.

A smartwatch is a pretty handy (pun intended) device, especially when one goes to a workout session and wishes to leave their phone at home. Wearables can now track users' activity data, heart rate, and blood pressure, and are bound to get more advanced in the future. Your next smartwatch or fitness band could have the capability to give your doctor real-time access to what could be life-saving stats about your fitness and health.

IoT devices are convenient and cost-effective but like all computers, they are still susceptible to hacking and data theft, and we shouldn't rush into adopting any technology without addressing the safety concerns that come with it. However, if used wisely and carefully, IoT devices can truly transform our lives for the better, and take us to a truly `smart' future.