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IoT sensors - enhancing how businesses do business

By Tim Waterman, Product Director at FilesThruTheAir.

Fridges that talk, watches that listen and thermostats that learn your domestic habits; these are some of the most visible examples of the so-called “Internet of things” (IoT). The concept of IoT has been around for a while, but it is now starting to gain real mainstream recognition and credibility.

However, IoT runs a lot deeper than ‘talking’ white goods. Despite the media coverage focusing on consumer applications, IoT is already having a huge impact in the commercial space. A recent PwC report has highlighted how some of the world’s biggest businesses are increasingly turning to IoT sensors to “achieve enhanced process optimisation and efficiencies … and analyse information to make better decisions and increase transparency”.

With analysts forecasting the IoT sensors sector to be worth as much as $30bn by 2020, we would be wise to focus our attention on the business applications to see where the bulk of that growth is going to come from. If businesses are seeing returns on the bottom line from IoT sensors then they are going to be the organisations that really drive rapid growth in the market.

For example our own WiFi temperature sensors, a product that neatly sits in the centre of the growing IoT market, are already monitoring vaccines, lab experiments and food storage, with a wealth of other applications in the pipeline. The PwC report highlighted the huge range of sectors that are investing in IoT sensors - from mining to manufacturing, hospitality to healthcare, the applications for these sensors are really only limited by our own imaginations.

Most pleasingly this is an area where the UK is genuinely at the leading edge. Our history of electronics, wireless and design expertise will be crucial to the future of the IoT; ensuring that businesses and consumers alike have the devices that meet their needs. It is an exciting growth sector, and an opportunity that the UK must grasp.

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