The Internet of Things (IoT) market continues to expand in terms of revenue and innovative capacity. As a result, spending on IoT solutions and services is expected to increase by more than 55 per cent by 2022(1). To harness the benefits of this thriving market, companies will have to rely on new technologies which are going to gain a stronger foothold this year in the ecosystem of connected things. IDnomic, a central player when it comes to securing these new smart devices, takes a closer look at the five trends to watch for in 2019.
(1)Source: IDC – Worldwide Semiannual Internet of Things Spending Guide
1- EDGE COMPUTING: A NEW APPROACH TO ARCHITECTURES
Edge computing consists in putting data on the periphery, or edge, of an IoT infrastructure where it can be collected by sensors. The goal is to process and analyze data as close to the device as possible without having to send it to the cloud. This method speeds up the flow and real-time processing of data, which can be valuable in many use cases where latency is an issue. Edge computing therefore reduces data congestion by processing large amounts of information close to the source. By extension, it also lowers storage costs since data no longer needs to travel to the cloud to be processed. Lastly, edge computing improves IoT infrastructure security by storing data locally or in micro data centers close to where the data is being used. This type of distributed architecture should see strong growth in 2019 and the years that follow, because it offers a solution to many issues linked to data usage, particularly for large infrastructures or those involving a high number of objects, such as smart cities or buildings. The distributed architecture should also be used in medicine and the Industrial IoT where real-time data processing is crucial.
2- CYBERSECURITY: MORE ATTACKS, BUT AWARENESS THAT WILL PAY OFF
2018 was a prolific year for hackers, who developed countless variations of botnets to strike new targets. Commonly used for DDoS attacks, botnets are increasingly being employed to exploit connected objects, which have been lacking in security until now. 2019 could see the emergence of IoT cryptojacking attacks which allow the perpetrator to steal computing power from devices to mine for cryptocurrencies.
Fortunately, IoT manufacturers and users today are ready to face the rising number of attacks. Connected objects “secured by design” – meaning security is built in from the start – are being produced, and users themselves are increasingly integrating cybersecurity as an add-on to their IoT projects. Industry is also moving toward the convergence of IT and OT, with teams from IS Security Management and Business working together to improve the security of the Industrial IoT. These initiatives are just the start of a major undertaking that should intensify in 2019. Higher cybersecurity budgets, exponential growth in the number of devices deployed and the resulting increase in attack surface should make IoT security a major topic this year.
3- AUTOMOBILE: AUTONOMOUS DRIVING, ON-BOARD PAYMENT AND SMART VEHICLES
The car industry is harnessing the potential of new vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications to lessen the environmental impact of transportation, make roads safer and reduce traffic congestion. As smart transportation systems undergo full scale implementation and driving becomes automated (driverless cars are expected in 2025), the IoT will play a more crucial role than ever in tomorrow’s cars. New Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems use communication among vehicles and with the roadside to share essential information, thus optimizing traffic flow and increasing road safety. This technology can serve to warn users, for example, of an approaching priority vehicle, a collision or an emergency braking situation. Projects are currently being rolled out on roads in France and Europe.
On-board payment systems that have been under evaluation by manufacturers for several years should also reach maturity, enabling drivers to pay for fuel from inside their car. One electric car manufacturer offers Plug & Charge functionality on several of its models, in compliance with the ISO 15118 vehicle to grid communication interface, and large-scale implementation should begin this year.
4- ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AND IOT: A WINNING COMBINATION
The IoT generates phenomenal amounts of data that is given meaning through analytics, thereby placing data at the core of companies’ value chain. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the technology that will augment this analytical capacity.
Because connected things will be learning from each other, they will be able to adapt to situations in real time and make the appropriate decisions, as necessary, within automated systems. For a patient receiving at-home treatment, for instance, AI will consist in understanding their habits in order to detect any abnormal behavior. In industry, predictive maintenance will use AI to anticipate a machine’s level of wear before it breaks down, by analyzing its configuration and detecting any dysfunction. In oil exploration, companies already use AI to detect the risk of leaks. Robots equipped with cameras film several hundred kilometers of pipeline. The resulting hours of video footage can be quickly analyzed thanks to AI to identify any damaged material. It is the combination of IoT and AI technologies, known as AIoT, which will transform current economic business models while ushering in a new era of AI applied to objects.
5- 5G: ADAPTING CELLULAR NETWORKS TO THE IOT
The fifth generation of cellular network communications is on its way! The first 5G smart phones and IoT equipment will be available in 2019. Telecom providers have announced early release in several major European cities, and consumer subscriptions should be available 2020. IoT players are especially looking forward to 5G, as it will eventually resolve a number of communication issues. 5G – more reliable and available with practically no latency and speeds ten times higher than 4G – should also preserve the batteries of connected devices, thus extending their lifespan. Today we can imagine new use cases such as 4K drone video, which requires high levels of bandwidth and availability, smart vehicles, which depend on real-time communication, or the 4.0 industry and critical industrial systems, which require flawless reliability and coverage. 5G technology will bring a revolution perfectly in sync with our changing needs and will facilitate the emancipation of the IoT by creating new use cases and providing solutions to industry players who are still wary today.
By Charlène Demaret