Arizona futurist and entrepreneur Jason Hope recently shared some of his predictions about changes for the “internet of things” in 2018. The internet of things is a large network of connected devices and people. Jason Hope is passionate about technology and promoting innovations, which is why he runs his own website for helping forward-thinking tech startups get funding. He also recently released an e-book on Amazon that explains the internet of things and gives entrepreneurs tips on how to become leading innovators as connected devices evolve. Jason Hope earned an MBA from the W.P. Carey School of Business in Arizona, and he is dedicated to technology research. The following are some of Hope’s predictions for the year ahead.
Artificial Intelligence Will Play A Key Role
Artificial intelligence programs are capable of communicating with other programs or humans. Although not all people are aware of it, many use AI tools frequently when they activate Google Assistant or Siri on their smartphones. Since the internet of things encompasses a vast network of devices that can communicate with one another, advancing AI programs to become more useful and intuitive will be a priority for companies in 2018. Image recognition, deeper learning and natural language processing abilities will be sharpened for AI programs. Also, companies will focus on making their programs more capable of smart decisions based on available information. From vehicles to hotels, consumers can expect to see more in-depth AI usage in many places in the year ahead.
Blockchain Technology Will Enhance Security
When most people see the word blockchain, they think of cryptocurrencies. Blockchain is an encrypted and digital ledger that records details of exchanges or transactions. The reason why it is such an integral part of cryptocurrency transactions is because account holders often wish to protect their anonymity, and making a transaction without such important details calls for a high level of secure and reliable documentation. With transactions taking place between devices, the need for greater security and recording is growing. Currently, IBM is working with several companies to form a collaborative effort for employing blockchain technology in the internet of things.
The data that is transferred between devices must be recorded in a location where it remains unchanged and is less vulnerable to exploitation. This is because communications and transactions take place between devices or robots, and human oversight is minimal. However, blockchain allows the holders of encryption keys to see and amend any issues. With multiple copies of records being stored in various places, the centralized manipulation or exploitation of data is removed. Encryption is a valuable security tool since many people are concerned about hackers. With important medical devices and electronics that store financial information being connected today, encryption and recording are two important issues for the makers of these technologies to prioritize. Since one of Jason Hope’s research interests is technology innovations in healthcare, he is interested to see how the internet of things will revolutionize the field in the years ahead.
Marketers Will Develop Improved Methods
One of the most important aspects of the internet of things for marketers to realize is the volume of information produced by connected devices. For example, fitness trackers generate data about how much a person walks. Some are capable of tracking rest as well. People often use their fitness trackers to sync with an app that includes their food choices or specific gym activities. Companies that market products related to such factors could collect large amounts of data to analyze. By analyzing meta data, they can develop general marketing solutions based on real and detailed data from people rather than surveys. Also, they can collect data about popular times during the day to order items through voice-activated systems or which types of products people choose most often. In addition to being beneficial for general marketing, these bits of information are helpful for individualized marketing to existing customers.
Industrial Technologies Will Be Improved
Skilled manual labor jobs are known for multiple risks. People work with dangerous machines, and safety often depends heavily on careful human supervision. Some machines are already equipped with sensors that can detect a worker’s speed or if the worker is getting drowsy. Other machines are equipped with switches that turn them off when conditions are deemed dangerous based on their internal programmed information. With AI learning, machines can now ingest far more information. While this improves the safety aspect of industrial machines, it also enhances efficiency. For example, a piece of machinery that had too many settings or combinations of settings to remember in the past would require a worker to look up information in a manual. With AI and voice recognition, a person can ask about the right setting for a task and receive an immediate response.
Sensors And Communication Will Advance
Face recognition is a popular new sensor technology. However, Jason Hope predicts that sensors will become much more useful when equipped with intuitive AI and connected to other useful devices or people. For example, consider an elderly person who may be faced with the possibility of living in a care home due to fall risks and health issues. If the individual wishes to stay at home, having connected sensors installed in the home could mean that unusual movements are easier to detect. If the connected system is equipped with voice recognition and AI, it could call for help if necessary.
Sensors are also being used in the automotive industry. GM recently announced its plans to release a vehicle without pedals or a steering wheel in 2019. All of the identical models are connected to share information. With sensors, they determine the correct movements for situations and share experience data to collectively become smarter.
Jason Hope is excited to see where combined technologies take the internet of things in the years ahead. Also, he encourages entrepreneurs who have ideas to utilize or revolutionize the internet of things to contact him and learn more about his grants.