Smart, interconnected, technology is already embedded in industry, whether through autonomous machinery in factories or smart monitoring devices making efficiencies in production processes. In our homes as well, smart technology is beginning to touch our lives, with central heating, fridges and domestic lighting all able to be controlled remotely.
IoT is one of the fastest-growing markets in the world today. Communications giant Ericsson predicts there will be some 28 billion connected appliances worldwide by 2021 – that’s about four devices for every person on the planet. In monetary terms, annual revenues for sellers of IoT equipment could reach $470bn by 2020, according to consultancy firm Bain.
But as we have seen many times, internet-connected devices can be vulnerable to viruses and hacking. Imagine a scenario where a warehouse’s production line is infiltrated, costing the manufacturer millions in lost revenues, or where our own smart heating system fails, risking property damage or personal injury.
Although interconnectivity streamlines industry and makes our lives easier, convenience may come at a price.