Last updated: 07 July 2017
It’s been an eventful year for the IoT; there have been significant innovations across the board for mHealth, the Industrial IoT, sports technology, connected cars, and more. This time last year, who would have thought we’d be witnessing a seemingly exponential growth of the IoT? Some may have predicted this; after all, predicting the future (albeit not perfectly) is possible. However, the vast majority of IoT enthusiasts have been pleasantly surprised by the recent advancements.
As we draw closer to the end of another year, we thought it’d be appropriate to list out the key IoT highlights from the last 12 months. See below for what we’ll remember 2015 for.
- Raspberry Pi Zero – one the best innovations of 2015 was the release of the $5 Raspberry Pi Zero, a mini, affordable computer featuring a core that’s 40 percent faster than the Raspberry Pi 1, with 512MB RAM, a MiniHDMI port, and two Micro USB ports (one is used for power). The effect of this could be brilliant in the long run for the IoT as it’ll empower more young people than ever before to get involved with computing. The Raspberry Pi Foundation’s mission is to encourage children to learn how to code; Raspberry Pi founder Eben Upton says every dollar they can cut off the price of a Raspberry Pi adds to the likelihood of another person getting involved with computing. So watch out – in not very long, the Raspberry Pi generation might change the IoT forever!
- Google announces Brillo – there’s now an OS built purely for the IoT. Brillo, launched by Google this year, supports Wi-Fi, Bluetooth Low Energy, and other Android applications. Coinciding with Brillo, Google also announced Weave, a shared language for the IoT which helps connected devices communicate with smartphones and the cloud, and vice versa.
- Potential and future growth of mHealth is realized – the potential for mHealth is finally being gauged accurately; mHealth solutions will ultimately revolutionize healthcare around the world and benefit millions (probably billions) of people. The market is set to grow very quickly as a report released last month predicts it to grow to over $59.15 billion in worth by 2020.
- Privacy and security becomes top priority for IoT growth – data is said to be the ‘new oil’ – it’s highly valuable, and we must be careful with it, especially as the IoT is now harvesting more data for us than ever before. It’s crucial we keep this data secure and keep the IoT safe for everyone; this point was highlighted this year in the IoT Outlook 2015 Report which revealed how 42% of telecoms professionals say security is biggest inhibitor to IoT.
- Over 51 million wearables forecasted to sell globally – in 2015, research firm Gfk predicted global consumers would buy 51 million wearable devices, which includes smartwatches and health fitness trackers. If this proves to be true (we’ll know soon when more reports come out), this will reassert how significant the connected device/wearable revolution has become. Was 2015 the year of the wearable?
- Apple Watch becomes ‘world’s best-selling smartwatch’ – Device analyst, CCS Insight’s Ben Wood said this year that the Apple Watch would easily be the “most successful smartwatch ever”. Apple’s 2015 sales have certainly supported Wood’s statement so far, as 3.6m units sold in the second quarter of this year. The Apple Watch is now the number 2 best-selling wearable, just behind Fitbit. Could 2016 be the year Apple steals the overall crown?
- eCall fights crime and saves lives – in 2014, at the European ITS Congress in Helsinki, we witnessed the world’s first ever eCall from Europe to Russia. In 2015, we’ve now seen eCall can even fight crime! A US driver was caught after trying to flee a hit-and-run collision when their car’s eCall-style system dialled 911 after the impact. The future is certainly bright for eCall as the EU announced this year that it will be rolled out across member states. New cars and light vans will have the system as standard from 31 March 2018. I have no doubt this will ultimately lead to much safer roads throughout Europe, and hopefully fewer hit-and-run drivers.
- The MATRIX – someone is preparing to build the Matrix… Fortunately, it won’t be like this Matrix (a prison for our minds in the future where machines rule the world). Instead, it’ll be the world’s first smart home app ecosystem. Thanks to a successful Kickstarter funding project this year, the Matrix is under construction. We’ll be keeping an eye out to see the end result – hopefully it won’t result in the end of the human race!
- IoT enters the Dictionary – the IoT was added to the dictionary this year and just goes to show how mainstream it has now become. However, the IoT isn’t the only new technological development to be recognized by Dictionary.com. The phrases ‘fitness tracker’, ‘digital wallet’ and ‘digital citizen’ have also been added, reflecting their increasing prevalence in our connected society. This left us wondering, what might be added to the dictionary in 2016?
- The Industrial IoT becomes mainstream – the next dictionary addition could be the IIoT. The Industrial Internet of Things, which can be defined as a global network of smart industrial devices, that can communicate data to monitoring systems or other devices anywhere, is now influencing a large range of key sectors, such as oil, gas, healthcare, transport and utilities and has received more attention than ever before this past year. The IIoT is sparking the next revolution in our connected world and is now getting the recognition it deserves. As it grows, it’s imperative we keep it secure in 2016; secure elements will likely be the key to this.
So there you have it – the top ten highlights for the IoT in 2015. Do you agree with our list? Or are there some key moments and innovations you would’ve included? Let us know by tweeting to us @Gemalto, or leave a comment in the section below.