We have millions upon millions of different devices transferring data through the internet with zero human involvement in this day and age. In its State of IoT — Summer 2021 report, IoT Analytics estimates that there will be more than 27 billion IoT connections by 2025.
Simply put, anything from refrigerators, through air purifiers, to wall sockets, anything can be permanently connected to the internet and become a part of IoT Architecture.
This astronomical rise has a lot to do with small and efficient chips becoming less expensive to produce and distribute. It is also a result of tangible advancements in the development of IoT-appropriate wireless technology, such as Z-Wave and Zigbee protocols. Thanks to that, IoT continues to grow and can grace us with awesome internet of things advantages.
What Are the Challenges, Advantages/Disadvantages Regarding IoT?
What Are the Disadvantages of an IoT?
Before we delve into the internet of things advantages, we should cover some of the disadvantages of this ecosystem. Here are the most notable ones:
- High internet dependency — IoT systems cannot function without the internet, so it is impossible to have a reliable IoT ecosystem without a stable internet connection.
- No international standardization — As IoT compatibility is not standardized internationally, devices produced by different manufacturers could have trouble communicating with one another most effectively.
- Chance of system-wide corruption — A single bug or malware attack could potentially bring down the entire system.
- Relative complexity — Design, development, implementation, and maintenance of an extensive IoT ecosystem is a relatively complex endeavor.
- Potential for increased unemployment rates — Workers in specific fields could run a higher risk of being replaced by AI. Production line robots, smart surveillance systems, self-driving vehicles, and other machines will replace humans in these positions.
- Privacy and security — If not operated carefully, an IoT system could provide critical data to third parties. Also, since IoT systems are interconnected through various networks, there’s a real risk of network attacks if the highest security measures are not employed.
Aside from these technical and privacy-related concerns, there are also potential long-term consequences regarding the evolution of the human mind.
Arguably, an over-reliance on artificial intelligence technology could cause future generations to underutilize their minds, leading to an overall lethargy and decline in mental capability.
But IoT is not only about that. Now when we reveal the dark side of that technology, it’s time to point out the internet of things advantages.
10 Advantages of IoT Brings
Despite the potential disadvantages listed above, there’s no denying the fact that the internet of things is here to stay. It is not just a temporary fad, so our best course of action is to take full advantage of the technology and make it as safe and helpful as possible.
In the introduction to this article, we mentioned that refrigerators and wall sockets could connect to the internet but the internet of things advantages go way beyond simple gimmicks. We’ll discuss the main benefits of IoT in the following section of this article.
#1 Advantage: Control and Automation
Although some may describe it as nothing more than a gimmick, the humble, smart bulb is one of the best and simplest examples of control and automation via an IoT device. Smart light bulbs have exploded in popularity in recent years for a reason.
On the face of it, these devices, which connect to your home network, provide you with nothing more than the ability to turn the lights in your home on and off remotely.
But a smart bulb is more than just a remote light switch. It enables you to set the scene for a particular time of day, automatically turn the lights off in the living room when you open Netflix on your smart TV, etc.
Obviously, control and automation are internet of things advantages that span beyond smart light bulbs. Internet-connected devices such as air-conditioners, coffee makers, and humidifiers can all be integrated with Google- and Amazon-made voice assistants, allowing you not only to turn them on or off through simple voice commands but also to automate their schedules.
When it comes to business and industrial applications, IoT devices can be used to control robotic assembly systems, manufacturing lines, printers, and all kinds of other machines in an office space or factory.
#2 Advantage: Real-Time Access to Information
One of the primary internet of things advantages is the uninterrupted flow of information. Internet-connected devices can share data at the speed of light, which means fewer delays and a lower potential for miscommunication.
Imagine a large warehouse where each product is logged and connected through an IoT network. Information such as product movement would be updated in real-time, allowing new stock to be ordered automatically at the exact right time and in the exact correct quantity.
Real-time monitoring is even more crucial in other settings, such as nuclear power plants or even grain silos. Sensors measuring temperature or humidity can be used to inform an IoT system, which would, in turn, automatically control these parameters.
#3 Advantage: Emerging Businesses
The rise of new technology always brings an explosion of new business opportunities, and IoT is no different. Although smart devices have long penetrated almost every aspect of society, we are still years, or perhaps decades away from widespread global use.
Many other businesses are revolving around the use of IoT, such as installing internet-connected devices into vehicles, building smart wearables designed explicitly for people with high blood pressure or diabetes, and so on.
The Internet of things could also potentially be utilized by branding and marketing agencies, which would use artificial intelligence and advanced data collection to develop their digital strategy services. This feeds perfectly into the next item on our internet of things advantages list.
#4 Advantage: Advanced Data Collection
The Internet of things provides excellent opportunities for data collection and business growth. Deployed across a wide range of devices, the internet of things advantages of data collection can help business owners make decisions on a macro scale as well as a granular level.
A simple example would be internet-connected tags on retail products, which could provide real-time data about purchasing decisions and trends on a daily or weekly basis.
This relatively simple process could improve inventory control and provide much-needed insight into consumer behavior and purchasing patterns.
Cross-referencing these figures with other information, such as ZIP codes or membership card numbers of individual customers, can produce vast pools of statistically relevant data.
#5 Advantage: Improved Efficiency
By its very definition, the Internet of Things operates without human intervention. It is a system relying solely on machine-to-machine communication, with data logged and collected in real-time, at any time of day or night. One of the most significant impacts of such a system is the increased efficiency of a wide range of services.
Staff members no longer need to spend valuable time collecting and processing information, as machines can effectively take over this job. This internet of things advantage leaves human staff more time for creative endeavors, enabling them to focus on utilizing the collected information rather than the collection of data itself.
Tracking routes and mileage of vehicles is a typical example of machine-to-machine communication improving efficiency. A huge company that owns a fleet of cars can appeal to enterprise software development companies and build a system that will track the mileage and usage of each vehicle using IoT devices rather than relying on employees to complete this task.
The devices would then send data back to a server in real-time to track and monitor vehicle use.
#6 Advantage: Improved Quality of Life
So far, we’ve dealt mainly with the internet of things advantages in business, but focusing solely on this aspect would be shortsighted. There are many ways in which big data and IoT could improve the quality of life of ordinary people.
For example, in medicine, smart devices could save many lives. Smart pills sending back data as they make their way along the gastrointestinal tract or blood-pressure monitors sharing information with an IoT system in real-time could be genuine life-savers.
Improved quality of life from IoT networks doesn’t only apply to individuals. Smart devices could benefit entire communities, with internet-connected traffic sensors and lights easing congestion in heavily populated areas, for example.
Smart devices in vehicles could connect not only to traffic lights but also to toll gates and road safety monitors, providing drivers with real-time feedback on road conditions on the way to their respective destinations. Of course, smart city traffic requires expensive Logistics & Transportation software development services but it will definitely pay off over time.
#7 Advantage: Cost Reduction
Interconnected devices provide many opportunities for cost reduction. The IoT mesh not only provides a chance to analyze data in real-time but improves efficiency across the board, as explained earlier.
This could offer a variety of internet of things advantages, such as more effective inventory management, reductions in development cost, and even reduced expenses in production and transport of raw materials. As businesses become smarter, prices should theoretically go down across the board.
Ambient temperature sensors could be connected to automated cooling and heating systems, offering highly efficient climate control with no human interaction whatsoever. Lights could be set up to turn on only when necessary, thus reducing utility costs, etc. Cost reduction is one of the strongest impacts of Internet of Things on businesses and one that motivates business owners to invest in it.
#8 Advantage: Higher Productivity
The Internet of Things can also improve efficiency and productivity at work and in the industrial sector, similar to how voice-activated Amazon and Google products increase efficiency at home.
Data collected through a network of IoT devices, for example, provides highly detailed data that can be used by businesses to improve their internal processes and customer service. As a practical example of the internet of things advantages, if an energy company cannot gain access to a property, it will estimate its utility bill.
However, if the electrical box were connected to the utility company’s server through the internet, the customer would never have to worry about an overcharged estimated bill again.
#9 Advantage: Big Data and Predictive Analysis
Here’s a buzzword that you’ve almost certainly heard but may not know much about — big data. This phrase has been around long before IoT took off, and it describes a process of collecting and analyzing vast amounts of information for various purposes.
One of the purposes of IoT systems is to gather data, whether to track customer activity, inventory, vehicle use, temperature, or whatever else you can think of. All this data is fed back into the system, ultimately improving the efficiency of various processes.
Successful analysis of big data can predict everything from stock movement to customer behavior and generate new opportunities in the business world.
As more and more smart devices reach our homes and schools and more data is gathered, we’ll see an ever-increasing number of internet of things advantages and ways in which predictive techniques can be used to improve our lives.
#10 Advantage: Health and Safety
Technological and medical advances have enabled more humans to reach old age, but these boundaries are being pushed further every year.
In a medical emergency, every second could mean the difference between life and death, and the highly interconnected world of IoT could bring about a plethora of benefits.
Imagine a simple health bracelet with a system to keep an eye on blood sugar levels. This internet-connected device could log any blood sugar or insulin levels changes and send notifications directly to medical personnel or family members.
For people with chronic illnesses, who should ideally be constantly monitored by health professionals, discreet IoT devices could provide life-saving real-time data.
Whether we like it or not, the world of AI and IoT is rapidly growing all around us. Clearly, these devices offer many opportunities for businesses to take advantage of. However, there are also many benefits that we as individuals can see from this technology in the future.
In the article above, we have listed ten of the most notable and apparent internet of things advantages. However, only time will tell how many of these benefits will stand the test of time and whether we can learn to incorporate them into our lives successfully.
What are the advantages of IoT in education?
The Internet of Things could make the lives of both teachers and students easier through the automation of more repetitive tasks like attendance and grading close-ended tests. This could allow teachers to focus on more creative tasks, providing students with higher-quality education as a result.
What are the advantages of IoT in MCQ?
One of the internet of things advantages is that it can be used to process multiple-choice questions and compile the data automatically. This feature could be useful in education (MCQ tests), as well as large-scale surveys.
Melissa Gray is a freelance writer and an organizational psychologist. Her focus is primarily on marketing and new digital trends across the world. She is also a passionate gamer, with special interest in narrative design. She writes for Digital Strategy One.