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Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence: The Power Duo Leading to a Smart Future

ICT | Mar, 2021

From improving personalized shopping experiences to assisting in data mining, Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are collectively transforming the way people live and do business. Although both the terms are used interchangeably, IoT and AI are completely different paradigms and have individual value. Internet of things is a network of various devices connected over the internet, which can collect and exchange data with each other while Artificial Intelligence deals with the creation of systems that convert high quality and relevant data into actionable results, which can be implemented by the IoT devices. AI is expected to perform intelligent tasks such as speech recognition, decision making, language understanding, etc. that are limited to human intelligence. Without AI-powered analytics, the data produced by the IoT devices have a limited value. Likewise, AI systems are also dependent on IoT-generated devices to stay relevant in business settings. However, the powerful combination of IoT and AI can transform industries and help them make intelligent decisions, create new value propositions, business models, revenue stream, and more. Voice-responsive devices, smart machines, wearable technology are some of the examples of the combination of AI and IoT, which are making our lives easier and more efficient.

AIoT-When AI Meets IoT

The Artificial Intelligence of Things is a lethal combination of Artificial Intelligence technologies with the Internet of Things devices for more efficient IoT operation, enhancing data management, and improving human-machine interactions. Not only AIoT devices are proactive rather than reactive, but are also more robust, more secure, and even more scalable. AIoT has the potential to improve several business use-case that will be a necessity rather than a choice due to the rapid expansion of smart devices globally. Top tech companies are already making huge investments to adopt AIoT as part of their processes and products to increase efficiency and gain competitive advantage. The leading vendors of IoT platforms such as Amazon, Oracle, Microsoft, and Salesforce have started consolidating AI capabilities into IoT applications for unleashing the full potential of IoT. Some of the agile solutions offered by Artificial Intelligence IoT are as follows.

·         Manage, analyse, and obtain meaningful insights from collected data

·         Ensure quick and accurate analysis

·         Balance requirements for localized and centralized intelligence

·         Enhance personalization with confidentiality and data privacy

·         Provide security against cyber attack

According to TechSci research on “Global Internet of Things Market By Platform (Network Management, Application Management and Device Management), By Component (Hardware, Services and Software), By Application (Consumer Electronics, Smart Mobility & Transportation, Building & Home Automation, Connected Logistics, Smart Retail, and Others), By Region, Competition, Forecast & Opportunities, 2025”, Global internet of things market was valued USD168.65 billion in 2019 and is forecast to grow at CAGR of over 19% to reach USD480.39 billion by 2025. Global internet of things market is driven by emergence of advanced data analytics technology, surge in adoption of cloud computing and increased prevalence of connected devices for user-friendly interface. Also, the higher disposable income of the middle-class families and upgraded living standard is creating opportunities, which is driving global internet of things market through 2025.

United States leading the Global Internet of Things Market

North America accounted for the largest market share of 33.21% in 2019, with United States holding more than 77% market share in North America Internet of Things Market as per the TechSci report. The growth can be attributed to smart manufacturing, adoption of smart devices, and integration of artificial intelligence in IoT devices. Additionally, nearly a third of the world’s leading smart cities are based in US, owing to affluent economies and well-developed infrastructures. The Texas city has adopted smart water monitoring devices that track usage throughout the city to counter water problems and detect leaks. In Chicago, water sensors have been installed along riverbanks in Chicago to monitor for flooding and streetlights automatically dim during periods when they are not needed in the city. Charlotte city in North Carolina partnered with Microsoft Corp. to build out city’s digital infrastructure (Digital Twin) to reduce congestion, provide greater access to public Wi-Fi, monitor traffic, etc. The city officials of New York City, one of the densely populated cities in United States are working to utilize smart technologies and next-gen solutions to improve city’s infrastructure. Likewise, many other cities are integrating AI with IoT devices to make life convenient for the inhabitants, that is further fuelling the demand for internet of things devices in the region.

Practical Examples of AIoT

Smart Retail

In smart retail environments, the camera system equipped with computer vision capabilities enabled with facial recognition can be used to gather information about the customers entering the retail store, including their gender, product preferences, traffic flow and more. The gathered data can be used to predict consumer behaviour to make smart decisions about store operations, from marketing to product placement.

Traffic Monitoring

In a smart city, drones can be used to monitor real-time traffic in a large area, which can transmit traffic data and the AI can analyse that retrieved data to make decisions on adjusting traffic flow and reduce congestion.  The system can also detect accidents, illegal parking and change traffic lights to help ambulance get to patients who needs assistance and alleviate traffic congestion without human involvement.

Smart Office Buildings

In smart office setups, the sensors equipped in the buildings can detect how many personnel are present, adjust temperature and lighting to enhance energy efficiency and control building access through facial recognition technology. The combination of camera system and artificial intelligence can compare images take in real-time against the database helps to determine the attendance of mandatory meetings.

Fleet Management

Thanks to IoT devices such as GPS and other sensors and AI, companies are now able to manage their fleet better, reduce fuel costs, track vehicle maintenance, and identify unsafe drivers. The IoT devices installed in Tesla’s Autopilot system that use radars, sonars, GPS, and cameras gather data about driving conditions, which helps the AI to make intelligent decisions.

Smart Industry

Employing robots in factories, many manufacturing industries has already embraced AIoT to make the processing better over time. With the support of implanted sensors and artificial intelligence algorithms, the robots have become smarter and facilitate data transmission for smarter operations, that saves time, costs, and reduce human errors.

Smart Thermostat Solution

The smartphone integration of IoT devices enables users to check and manage the temperature from anywhere based on the work schedule and temperature preference of the users. The Smart Thermostat adapts accordingly and delivers an optimal temperature while maximising energy savings.

Digital Twins

Digital twin refers to the virtual replica of a real-world object, which can range from airplane engines to wind turbines. Digital twins are a perfect example of AIoT, which can help to maximize productivity by analysing performance of the objects eliminating the use of traditional testing methods and thereby enhancing efficiency of the operation and reducing unwanted costs.

Benefits of integrating AI with IoT

IoT artificial intelligence offers a range of benefits for consumers as well as companies with proactive intervention, personalized experience, and intelligent automation.

Enhanced Operational Efficiency

Artificial Intelligence in IoT can predict the operation conditions and the parameters to be modified for ensuring ideal outcomes. For instance, Google brings the power of automation to reduce its data centre cooling costs with intelligent IoT devices.  

Better Risk Management

Integrating AI with IoT can help businesses to understand and predict a broad range of risks and automate prompt responses. Thereby, AIoT allows organization to better handle financial losses, ensure employee safety, and cyber threats. For instance, Fujistsu ensure safety of workers by engaging AI for analysing data sourced from connected wearable devices. 

Increase IoT Scalability

The large volumes of data gathered from a range of IoT devices such as mobile phones, wearables, etc. is reduced to handy levels with the help of Artificial Intelligence. The AI-powered ecosystem further analyses and summarizes the data to create intelligent systems.

Eliminates unplanned downtime

AI enabled IoT allows one to predict the equipment failure and breakdown that could result in costly unplanned downtime. The predictive maintenance can help to advance and schedule orderly maintenance to avoid the side-effects of downtime. For instance, integrating AI with IoT, Deloitte is able to reduce 5%-10% reduction in maintenance costs.

Conclusion

Artificial Intelligence and Internet of Things are ushering a new era where “smart” is just the normal way of being. AIoT can make human lives easier giving people an access to control everything with a click of button. The IoT market is likely to grow in the direction of AI integration as 5G network providers are embracing edge computing to handle high-bandwidth, dynamic and low-latency applications on the IoT frontier.  

According to TechSci research on “United States IoT in Manufacturing Market, By Component (Solutions, Platforms and Services), By Application Area (Predictive Maintenance, Business Process Optimization, Asset Tracking & Management, Logistics & Supply Chain Management, Real-Time Workforce Tracking & Management, Automation Control & Management and Emergency & Incident Management, & Business Communication), By Vertical Market (Energy & Utilities, Automotive, Food & Beverages, Aerospace & Defence, Chemicals & Materials, High-Tech Products, Healthcare and Others), By Company, By Region, Forecast & Opportunities, 2015-2025”, United States IoT in Manufacturing Market is expected to grow at a robust CAGR by 2025, owing to increased digitization in manufacturing and growing adoption of new technologies such as IoT and Big Data across various industries. Moreover, the rising investments in R&D and the emergence of intelligent machine applications will propel the growth of the market further. Based on the vertical, the energy and utilities segment is expected to lead the market due to applications like process optimization, plant automation etc. Based on components of the IoT in Manufacturing market, the services segment is projected to lead the market due to the application of managed services in deploying IoT based on consumer preferences.