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Innovation Lab

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How will the internet of things affect business and work?

IoT (internet of things) focuses on connecting devices and applications to each other over data and wifi; as opposed to people-to-people interactions (social, communications apps) and obviously assuming there's internet connectivity available! It can be made up of billions of “smart” devices, from miniscule chips to mammoth machines that use wireless technology to talk to each other (and to us). Our IoT world is growing at incredible speed, from 2 billion objects in 2006 to a projected 200 billion by 2020. That equates to around 26 smart objects for every human being on Earth!

In conjunction with big data, the IoT could allow your business to use resources more effectively and efficiently; providing information on energy use and associated technologies like thermostats, air quality monitors, lighting, building security and more. For companies in service industries, remotely connected devices and sensors could allow service technicians to assess and monitor issues without having to make time-consuming trips to site.

How IoT can influence your business processes

It currently takes about an hour to download a two-hour HD film using 3G, while the four million people with 4G in the UK only have to wait 40 seconds. With 5G that would be cut to one second!

5G technology does not currently exist but we could be a step closer after government recently announced that the UK would be involved with creating the next generation of wireless internet. A 5G network could provide up to a million connections per square kilometre and be essential to create "Smart Cities", connecting up millions of small, low-power devices, from traffic lights to wearables. The upgrade to a new 5G network will require an entire reworking of existing networks but research suggests some fascinating new transmission and networking technologies, spurring innovations and industries we cannot even imagine.