Long before the advent of today’s smart wrist wearables, we saw Hollywood’s James Bond using his watch to receive messages from headquarters, and long before any company began prototyping connected cars, we saw him in high-speed car chases by navigating through the streets in his smart car augmented with sensors. Previously the domain of fantasy, such devices are now becoming a reality as a new class of tools accessible to the government, consumers and businesses alike.
The Digital Age—which makes the Industrial Revolution look tame by comparison—is upon us. The Internet of Things (IoT) has rapidly become one of the most familiar expressions across the technology domain, with the potential to fundamentally shift the way we interact with our surroundings. Everyday objects are getting smarter and connected to the internet, thereby enabling the seamless transfer of information streams between devices, networks, organisations, industries and end users.
It is predicted that by 2020, more than 50 billion devices (‘things’) will be connected, with revenues from IoT forecasted crossing 3 trillion USD the same year. This rapid adoption of IoT brings with it a new set of challenges, which raise questions about where and how these devices should be used. But first, it is crucial to understand the functionality of IoT and its implications on aspects of everyday life.
‘Things’ are any kind of device, appliance or vehicle that can connect to the internet. They can be remotely controlled or viewed, and they can send telemetry for analysis.
Smartphones, tablets and other smart devices can control all types of ‘things’.
Cloud services provide the repository and access control between the ‘thing’ and its controller.
Most ‘things’ connect to the internet, except for power grids or classified government systems.
This may be a controller area network (CAN) in connect cars, a local network at home, etc.
IoT is transforming the way businesses, the government and consumers interact with the physical world. The ability to electronically monitor and manage objects makes it possible to bring data-driven decision making to new realms of human activity, thereby optimising the performance of systems and processes, saving time for people and businesses and improving the quality of life.
With companies looking for innovative ways to not only understand their customers better, but also create products and services around satisfying their needs, consumers will purchase a massive number of devices and invest a significant amount of money in IoT ecosystems. Consumer electronics is a key area in IoT and products that increase convenience like smart home appliances, fitness trackers and connected cars continue to gain traction every day
Government agencies are striving to deliver quality services in increasingly complex environments, and therefore will look at ways to apply IoT technology to find new value for their citizens.
In the public sector, although headlines are dominated by infrastructure projects like sensors on roads that help manage traffic or smart meters used by utilities to save energy, it will be the more routine use cases and smaller-scale projects that lead to real, long-lasting benefits.
In this era, organisations are leveraging intelligent products and solutions to realise efficiencies, enable customisation and improve the user experience like never before. Therefore, it is no surprise that businesses are at the core of the Industrial IoT (IIoT) story. As protagonists of the biggest quantitative contributors to IoT, businesses will look to IoT to improve their bottom line by lowering operating costs, streamlining existing process flows, increasing productivity and developing new product offerings.
The government’s objective is to develop the IoT industry in India to the tune of 15 billion USD by 2020.
With such vested interest in its development, the IoT market in India is projected to grow at a CAGR of more than 28% by 2020.
While IoT may take several years to proliferate in the country, there are cases where it is being currently used by consumers and industries alike.
Service providers are working extensively to maximise their gains from emerging markets, with demand for IoT devices emerging across industries such as utilities, manufacturing, automotive, transportation and logistics.
Everyday customers are already using IoT enabled smart devices for health and wellness, tracking devices for personal safety, and smart home systems for everyday convenience.
Although IoT enabled devices will vary in shape, functionality and application across sectors, the one major element that runs in parallel across these domains is payments. The above three scenarios are a few out of the many use cases developed to combine payments and IoT aimed at creating a safe, reliable and seamless payments experience for customers.
The Internet of Payments space is an appealing prospect for not only software and hardware developers, but also for banks and other FinTech companies that can help drive innovation in the payment space through the use of NFC chips, payment apps, sensors, tracking devices, etc. Some of the world’s biggest payment services provides are aiming to capitalise on this trend.
BI Intelligence (2016). Here's how the Internet of Things will explode by 2020. Retrieved from http://www.businessinsider.com/iot-ecosystem-internet-of-things-forecasts-and-business-opportunities-2016-2?IR=T (last accessed on 30 November 2017)
2nd Internet of Things India Expo 2018 (2017). Retrieved from http://www.iotindiaexpo.com/ (last accessed on 30 November 2017)
Partner, India FinTech Leader, PwC India
Partner, Payments and FinTech, PwC India
Tel: +91 99 3094 4573