How big will Internet of Things be in 2018? Here are some expert predictions

2018 is set to see the number of connected devices rise to 11 billion which means that its going to be a huge year for the Internet of Things. Forbes spoke to Bret Greenstein, VP of IBM’s Watson IoT Consumer Business, who highlighted four key trends we should expect to see this year.

AI will make the IoT a lot smarter and more productive 

With Artificial Intelligence (AI) being one of today’s biggest buzzwords but that doesn’t mean that everyone using it knows exactly what it is. However, according to Greenstein, 2018 will increase the general understanding of AI as the IoT spreads. As more devices become connected and capable of communicating with each other, AI will help them to understand not only each other, but us too.

More CPU power spent at the edge 

Pushing processing power to “the edge” will bring a number of new opportunities.  Generally, certain elements of the IoT such as sensors and cameras collect data that is processed in the cloud but greater exploitation of this technology is expected in 2018, according to Greenstein.  “Suddenly there are cameras that can not only see, they can understand the image, and microphones which can listen – that’s increasingly being pushed to the edge,” he states.

Edge computing can help to increase privacy so that the IoT can ensure that only useful data is collected to the cloud. An example of this is a system within a home care setting that is able to detect signs which imply that the resident is in danger, without compromising their privacy.

Blockchain will help IoT transactions 

Blockchain is a distributed and encrypted digital ledger meaning that it is perfect for recording details of the millions of transactions that take place between IoT machines. However, the convergence of these two has only been discussed very recently and although parterships are not yet public, Greenstein has announced that IBM is working in “multiple industries” with clients to bring them together.

The majority of interaction between IoT devices takes place without any human oversight and therefore blockchain will offer a level of security that means only those with encryption keys or access codes can edit or amend the sections they’re required to.

A massive growth of IoT in manufacturing and industries 

Smart technology is continuing to help humans with skilled, manual tasks. This year, we should expect to see an increase in augmentation that gives technology access to “context-sensitive insights.” This means that technical manuals and procedure guidelines can be ingested by machines so that they can provide real-time assistance.


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