Internet of Things, or IoT, has changed the frequency with which we actually interact with machines. Last year, there were an estimated 6.6 billion IoT devices in use, and it’s not only consumers using them. Everyone, from organizations to governments are looking at IoT to streamline processes and improve productivity in newer ways. Their use is actually expected to triple in the next five years.
The Primary Areas of Focus
There are three main categories in which our governments are looking to invest in the Internet of Things:
Infrastructure, software, and cyber-security solutions.
- The first category deals with using IoT devices in cameras, sensors and wireless devices.
- The second deals with the transmission of data, as well as processing and analyzing said data.
- The third centers around different ways these endpoint devices could be secured from cybercriminals.
The United States Federal Government, for instance, spent around $8.8 billion in security during 2015. The majority of funds have been plowed into IoT investments such as sensors and wireless devices. Governments are also aiming to build a connected world for all the civilians and employ these devices to profoundly change how we live, work and travel. If you need examples think of fitness and health trackers. As a simple starting point countries like China are showing real interest in these developments. The health of every population is of concern to governments for obvious reasons as indicators that summarize the health status of a population is vital. Providing comparable measures of a population disease burden are increasingly vital tools for health policy decision making especially as most of us are projected to live longer lives.
Top Trends on How the Government Will look at IOT in 2017
In most governments, the regulation doesn’t apply. This is due to the uncertainty surrounding IoT. Governments across the world aren’t informed about the technological changes IoT could bring. Consequently, they were initially reluctant to jump in. There were no regulations to govern IoT use and the technical difficulties seemed insurmountable. Now though, the atmosphere seems to be changing. Governments are increasingly spending on the IoT in the last few years. Here’s how:
A major development area for the government involves analyzing data in areas such as population, land use and social services.
Installing surveillance cameras with remote controls, regulating public trash cans to signal when they need to be emptied is a practical solution. Monitoring the water supply are just two areas government will look to improve policies, cut costs and create further improvements even to the most mundane aspects of life.
Strategies for online parking systems and automated health care in homes are other possible areas where the government might want to integrate IoT devices. If accomplished, IoT could enable many public workers to increase effectiveness and safety in the following areas:
- Public safety officers, for instance, could respond faster to emergencies.
- Routine tasks like shift changes could become smoother. Teachers, for instance, could even automate teaching tasks when needed.
- Police officers would be able to detect and identify criminals with ease.
Using these devices will help to automate time-consuming tasks, thus helping improve their overall efficiency. Creating smart cities with the help of IoT devices is definitely at the top of the list. Copenhagen and Helsinki are two cities that are aiming to become smart this coming year.
Transport for London (TfL) for instance, is studying Big Data and IoT to understand commuter behavior to better manage services. This includes managing disrupted schedules and offering personalized news to travelers to schedule their journey accordingly.
The same goes for Hong Kong, where IoT is being used from supply chain to warehouse management and even trade and logistics. The Hong Kong International Airport, for instance, uses RFID (radio-frequency identification) enabled baggage handling systems to shorten the waiting time for baggage thus improving the handling process significantly.
Encouraging various markets to develop IOT
The recent Green paper published by the Department of Commerce has plans to encourage markets to develop devices in order to gain economic benefits and spread these benefits to foreign partners as well. This will facilitate the introduction of novel technologies and new methods into the market.
Security and Defense Management
Fields like defense and aerospace industries have great possibilities in integrating internet of things devices into their daily used technologies. A simple change such as smart thermostats, for instance, could potentially save the Pentagon around $700 million each year.
Sensors are not the only things that the Government will look to improve upon. Automated processes and operations are also a key focus area. While these strategies have been implemented for quite some time, the government will definitely look to improve in these areas using these IoT devices, enabling higher productivity in front line defense and security with lesser costs.
Our view on the upcoming Trends in 2017
The government was initially slow to jump onto the IoT bandwagon. With the loopholes that still exist, there has been a cautious approach to IoT.
However, the benefits IoT offers, and the way it could reshape the economies are undeniable. Quite possibly we have not even begun to scratch the surface. TfL’s use of IoT comes from the fact that London is soon going to be a 10 million strong city, and there is little space to grow. You might imagine IoT managing shifts of commuters traveling at specific times to spread the load more evenly. As Douglas Coupland said this week ‘The 9-5 is barbaric’
The future does seem bright and the Internet of Things is the way forward. Automation of tasks and the ability of remote control will revolutionize many of the things we see today. The IoT wouldn’t just offer better security but could make life easier for everyone.2017 might prove to be a great year in terms of building a smart world with a secure and revolutionized living style.