5G will power the Internet of Things and become a De facto part of our lives, similar to 4G today. This is what Nandagopal Rajan assessed following the recent Intel Developer Forum. This means that not only will ultra high data speed and fast mobile processing will be available for all things, but also that drones and other flying machines will replace static base-stations.This will allow remote wireless connectivity from pretty much anywhere, including places that are currently cut-off from the world.
There will be some 25 billion to 50 billion connected devices by the end of 2020, and these billions of devices will themselves be connected to billions of sensors that will report on devices that are everywhere and analyse data on everything, including malfunctions, fridge supply levels, body temperatures and ailments, pollution in the air or water levels in rivers. This will help forecast behaviour patterns in real time and improve decision-making. IoT will offer also great opportunities for personalisation and relationships with brands.
Scientist Ashkan Fardost highlights in his TEDx talk “Internet of Things - Beyond Our Current Imagination” or how the Internet of Things can improve societies and economies that “the real magic [on the Internet of Things] isn’t that everything will be connected to the Internet. The real magic is that you can turn any idea into reality as devices are web-enabled and communicate with everything. The best part is that you do not need any prior experience in programming or electronics to use it.”
Nominet, for instance, in partnership with LoveHz, has designed an Internet of Things solution to monitor the risk of flooding from Oxford’s rivers, streams, brooks, rills and channels. Due to climate change and increased urbanisation, flooding affects many parts of the world, and the Internet of Things will become a key enabler that monitors, controls and prevents floods in the future. The solution provides wireless reporting of water levels from places - including those normally outside internet coverage - using low-cost ultrasonic sensors connected to internet-enabled base stations, data analytics and clever visualisation. Nominet has also started to do some flood management research with drones too. The innovation will be utilised across a variety of industries, Including Insurance to support the design of more innovation flood prevention solutions and customer propositions.
Still whilst the Internet of Things promises a bright future, the father of the Internet, Vint Cerf confessed in a news briefing at the Heidelberg Laureate Forum in Germany this week that "Sometimes I'm terrified by it. It's a combination of appliances and software, and I'm always nervous about software -- software has bugs." There are downsides to the Internet of Things Vint Cerf asserts such as safety, privacy, security and standards issues that we ought to be mindful of.
However, innovation must continue. Internet of Things’ Innovators must aim to design and develop bullet-proof solutions that improve our lifestyle, reduce risks and optimise the use of scarce resources.
Base stations might move to drones or balloons to ensure that the Internet of Everything is also the Internet of Everywhere. This new revolution will take access to connectivity and, through it, access to knowledge to vast sections of the population, and entire geographies that have been cut off so far. The drones might initially act like the post service, downloading content to a location at a regular predestined interval, and uploading all the pending data there. Internet in these cases might not really be real time.