2021 IoT Trends: 5 Industries Expecting Big Gains from IoT Sensor Networks

2021 IoT Trends

5 Industries Expecting Big Gains from IoT Sensor Networks

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2021 IoT Trends  

The heart of innovation and maintaining a competitive edge is reliable and accessible data. IoT has made it possible for companies to acquire vast amounts of critical data from their assets, people and processes. This data is the lifeblood of reducing costs, improving efficiencies and providing a safer environment for workers. While IoT isn’t a new concept, deploying massive sensor networks has become more urgent than ever for certain industries. Here are the top 5 industries that can expect big gains from IoT in 2021.   

1. Smart Buildings

Even before the outbreak of COVID-19, the focus on tenant comfort and wellbeing had taken the spotlight in the commercial real estate (CRE) sector in recent years. Realizing that people are the greatest asset in the built environment, companies and owners have turned to IoT and smart building technology to enable a healthy, comfortable and engaging environment. Now, the pandemic is rapidly expediting this trend on a global scale. Smart building technology, especially IoT and wireless sensor solutions, are allowing owners and operators to effectively enforce new building guidelines and protocols, ensuring optimal ventilation, hygiene, distancing and tenants’ wellbeing.

For example, we’ll see a surge in office, retail and hospitality deployments of occupancy sensors that can track the number of people entering, exiting and using specific areas like line ups, waiting rooms, bathrooms, boardrooms, office kitchens etc. This data will be used to pinpoint over and under-utilized areas to streamline janitorial services, ensure safe distancing practices and encourage regular sanitation.

The adoption of Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) monitoring solutions will also rise as companies look to measure critical indoor climate factors like air, thermal, acoustic and lighting quality with the goal of enhancing occupant health, improving the quality of life, and reducing stress and potential injuries.

2. Healthcare

Never before is the worldwide healthcare sector under such an enormous strain. Hospitals are fighting to improve the quality of care while essential medical supplies and resources quickly dwindle. COVID-19 pandemic has spurred conversations around the future of IoT in healthcare and how it can safely connect healthcare professionals and patients. But, if we look back before all this happened, the healthcare industry has always been looking for new ways to combat challenges around inefficiencies, supply chain management and operational costs.

There are various IoT technologies delivering unprecedented value in the healthcare industry. Wireless tracking solutions and real-time location systems have stepped in to tackle asset management problems by establishing a real-time map of all critical mobile assets across their facilities – from patient beds and wheelchairs to defibrillators, infusion pumps, ventilators and portable endoscopy equipment. IoT devices assist patients with their medication adherence at home. Sleep monitoring devices can track heart rate, oxygen levels and movements for high-risk patients. Continuous glucose monitoring sensors connect to mobile devices and alert patients and clinicians to changing blood sugar levels.

IoT has opened up a world of possibilities in healthcare, providing invaluable data on patients, staff, facilities and assets. This critical insight not only gives patients more control over their lives and treatment, but improves operational efficiencies so that healthcare professionals can focus more on patient care.

3. Manufacturing

From lowering maintenance costs and enabling new lines of business to improving overall productivity, IoT has become pivotal to maintaining a competitive edge in manufacturing. With new business insights promised from massive-scale sensor networks, it’s no surprise, the Global IoT in Manufacturing market is expected to reach $994 billion by 2023.

In 2020, we saw most companies pivot to remote operations and manufacturing is no different. In addition to ensuring safe, reliable and efficient facilities, companies must contemplate new ways to run their sites. With the loss of onsite workers due to the pandemic crisis— it has become clear the operating model of having everyone in-house needs to change. IoT sensor networks and reliable connected assets are enabling the success of remote operations, like monitoring and maintenance. With real-time data, businesses can better monitor how assets, products and machinery are performing so that they can optimize their use, better anticipate impending failures and identify root causes of issues. Predictive, condition-based maintenance can therefore reduce costly downtime and repairs. With the ability to reduce outages, speed up resolution time and improve uptime, business can also improve customer service, and create new business opportunities and service-level agreements.

4. Oil and Gas

Operating an asset-intensive industry, oil and gas companies are constantly striving to maximize equipment performance and output. As such, it’s no surprise that around 65% of businesses cite optimization and predictive maintenance as the top focus on their IoT radar. Advanced wireless connectivity and low-cost sensors are helping to digitize and enhance assets and processes that used to be disconnected, creating positive impacts on the bottom line.

For example, wireless IoT sensors can monitor field equipment in remote, far flung locations. Any off-spec conditions can be immediately spotted, so informed decisions can be made on when and how maintenance should be executed; increasing equipment uptime and contributing to higher production output.

Moreover, many processes that used to require inefficient manual labor like level monitoring of reservoirs can also benefit from the deployment of wireless IoT sensors to enable effective coordination of task logistics. IoT can also automate on-site supervision and asset monitoring to enhance workers’ health and safety. As fewer field trips are required, employees are less exposed to potential dangers. And even when they need to be onsite, risk can be mitigated as useful insights from IoT sensors allow technicians to better prepare themselves in advance.

5. Agriculture

Faced with tough challenges of exploding world population, dwindling arable lands and natural resources, alongside growing extreme climate events, the agriculture sector is under undue pressure. In a quest to improve yields while minimizing resource usage, global farmers are turning to IoT and precision agriculture practices

The worldwide AgTech market is growing dynamically at 12.8% CAGR and expected to reach around $ 5.5 billion by 2021. Farm activities could produce around 100,000 data points per hectare by merging data sources and using new technologies such as IoT. This data is being translated into actionable knowledge for farmers to enable stable and respectively higher yields with fewer resources like fertilizer, water and energy per ha. Ultimately, this will results in higher profitability and long-term sustainability amidst the growing pressure from climate change.

2021 IoT trends will see massive adoption across numerous industries.

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