The Internet of Things offers the ability to take sensors and make them addressable over the internet, says Jones. The technology represents a marked evolution of machine-to-machine (M2M) technology, which in the past has proved to be highly monolithic and expensive. IoT technology drives down costs significantly.
The “Internet of Everything,” by contrast, describes “everything that’s coming together in an addressable way through the power of the internet,” Jones says. IoT is a subset of this new concept, which also embraces enterprise resource planning, customer relationship management, business development and a variety of other applications that were not previously linked.
Expect a booming market in IoE in the coming years, he says. Cisco Systems Inc., which coined the term, estimates it at between $14tr and $19tr by 2025. Others put the number much lower, at around $4.7tr, but still significant in terms of value and influence.
Economic impacts will be many. Merchandisers will have greater access to customer data in order to upsell, cross-sell or promote new products. They will be able to market “in a very granular way,” says Jones.
“Imagine a world where all of my behavior interacting with a product is recorded, and comes back to that particular vendor,” he says. Manufacturers will gain a better understanding of customers while being able to predict the maintenance needs of various products. They’ll also be able to engage in predictive stocking, leading to more efficient and less expensive inventories.
On the logistics side, the new technology will allow for an understanding of “every aspect of transportation of what’s going on in a container,” Jones said. Perishable products, especially food items, can be easily tracked from storage through preparation to point of consumption.
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