IoT Analytics, a leading provider of market insights & competitive intelligence for the Internet of Things (IoT), M2M, and Industry 4.0, today published a comprehensive Market Report, focusing on sizing the quickly developing market for Connected Streetlights during the period 2018 to 2023. It is estimated that there will be 41 million IoT connected Streetlights installed globally by 2023. The overall streetlights market will surpass US$3.6B in 2023, growing at a compound annual growth rate of 21% from 2018. Deployment of connected streetlights is gaining traction globally as the technology is one of the key pillars for Smart City initiatives. The growth is fueled by government policies and increasing awareness on the benefits of connected Streetlights which go beyond energy savings.
The original conception of the Internet of Things (IoT) was of a network of physical objects or “things” embedded with electronics, software, sensors, and connectivity to enable objects to exchange data with a centralized operator and/or other connected devices.
Smart grids, smart homes and smart cities were all representations of what an IoT could be/do.
The IoT equivalent of the human brain is the cloud-based analysis of the data rising up from sensors to generate insights and decide on actions. Much of the benefit of the Internet of Things lies in our ability to leverage the (useful) data we collect with it. This is the “analytics of things,” and this area has, in many ways, received the least attention of all. This is unfortunate, because it is analytics that can add the most business, lifestyle, and health value to the IoT. It has been said that “data without meaning, without soul, will not move people to change their behaviors over the long term.”1 Value-added analytics are what many early adopters of activity trackers believe has been most missing and disappointing.
Sensor data have some unique attributes, so related analytics are unique as well. The data are typically continuous and fast-flowing, so there must be processes for continuous analysis of the data. Technologies such as “complex event processing” and “event stream processing” bring the data to the analysis capability, where they are processed in real time, and then results are sent back where they are needed. Because there is so much data, a major focus of the analytics of things is anomaly detection. Is something broken in our operational network? Does a bike ride appear to be in the middle of a corn field? Are you about to end the day without reaching 10,000 steps? Analytics can identify situations that require some form of human intervention.
Some other typical analytical applications for the IoT include the following:
- Comparative usage—how your consumption of a resource (for example, calories) compares with others in similar situations
- Understanding patterns and reasons for variation—developing statistical models that explain variation
- Predictive asset maintenance—using sensor data to detect potential problems in machinery (or your body) before they actually occur
- Optimization—using sensor data and analysis to optimize a process, as when a lumber mill optimizes the automated cutting of a log, or a poultry processor automates the preparation of a chicken, or when is the healthiest time to go to sleep or when in your sleep cycle to wake up
- Prescription—employing sensor and other types of data to tell the user what to do, as when an activity tracker nudges you to get off the couch or sit up straight
- Situational awareness—piecing together seemingly disconnected events and relating them to a larger repository of data to put together an explanation, as when a series of readings from activity trackers, glucose monitors, connected scales, and other devices tells you that you are in danger of contracting diabetes
The analytics of things is often a precursor to cognitive action—taking action based on the results of analyzed sensor data. Comparative usage statistics, for example, might motivate an energy consumer to cut back on usage, while smart thermostats can monitor and optimize the household environment. Predictive asset maintenance suggests the best time to service machinery, which is usually much more efficient than servicing at predetermined intervals. A municipal government could analyze traffic data sensors in roads and other sources to determine where to add lanes and how to optimize stoplight timing and other drivers of traffic flow.
A 2015 article in the Deloitte Review by Tom Davenport and John Lucker provided some much needed context around the quickly expanding conversations on the Internet of Things (IoT). Having written about the IoT often over the past 15 years, I have witnessed the term be applied too often to the mechanics of machine-to-machine (M2M) communications with less thought given to the broader impact of all those devices connecting and sharing information and data.
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