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Last edited 06 May 2016
Internet of things market
The Internet of Things (IoT) is a network of physical objects that are embedded with an IP address to allow them to exchange and collect data. The objects can be controlled and sensed remotely over the network infrastructure by the use of IoT devices. IoT devices create a number of opportunities for enhanced integration between computer-based systems and the physical world which can result in improved accuracy, efficiency, and economic benefit. Technological development in the healthcare field and rising government initiatives in favour of IoT are the prime factors fuelling the market globally.
IoT may include a broad range of devices such as; biochip transponders on farm animals, heart monitoring implants, electric automobiles with built-in sensors, and chip-embedded clams in coastal waters. These 'devices' can then be used for the collection of data to autonomously monitor activities.
The IoT market stood at US$237.77 bn in 2014 and is predicted to reach US$924.8 bn by 2021, expanding at a remarkable CAGR of 21.40% from 2015 to 2021.
 Environmental monitoring
IoT environmental monitoring applications typically utilise sensors for assisting in environmental protection by monitoring water and air quality along with soil or atmospheric conditions. These applications also include monitoring movement of wildlife along with their habitats. The advancement of these internet-connected devices also includes other applications such as tsunami or earthquake alert systems. IoT devices for environmental monitoring can cover a large geographic area and can also be mobile in nature.
The IoT can also be utilised for controlling and monitoring rural and urban infrastructure such as railway tracks, bridges, offshore and onshore wind farms. The IoT infrastructure may also be utilised for event or change monitoring within structural conditions that involve risks. It can also be used for maintenance activities and for scheduling repairs by the coordination of tasks amongst different users and service providers.
There are a number of smart manufacturing and industrial applications provided by IoT. These applications include manufacturing process control, management and network control of manufacturing equipment, and situation and asset management, among others. IoT-enabled intelligent systems are used for rapid manufacturing of products coupled with the real-time optimisation of supply chain networks.
Integration of actuation and sensing systems that are connected to the internet can optimise energy consumption. IoT devices can be integrated within all forms of devices that consume energy; these could include bulbs, switches, televisions, or power outlets. IoT devices are being used for communicating with utility supply companies to effectively balance energy usage and power generation. Users are also able to remotely control devices along with centrally managing them with the help of a cloud-based interface.
The IoT market is poised to grow exponentially due to the increasing use of IoT in a number of sectors. However, it still lacks a common set of technologies and standards for ease of use and compatibility. This may impede the growth in the coming years.
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