The Internet of Things in a COVID 19 World

We’ve talked a lot about the Internet of Things (IoT) and the myriad devices that it’s comprised of.  While the popularity and use of mainstream IoT devices continues to increase, the COVID 19 pandemic has necessitated the broader use of certain technologies.

Tech pundits around the globe are talking about COVID related IoT trends for 2021: we’re going to take a look at 3 of the 5 trends that Forbes mentions in The 5 Biggest Internet Of Things (IoT) Trends In 2021 Everyone Must Get Ready For Now.

Healthcare investment in the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) is expected to skyrocket in 2021 and here are a few reasons why.

IoT TelehealthAccording to the US CDC, 40% of Americans reported avoiding medical care for fear of COVID 19 exposure. The New York Times discusses an alarming trend in the struggle for treatment in The Pandemic’s Hidden Victims: Sick or Dying, but Not from the Virus. While data is still being gathered, there are estimates that 22% of the excess deaths  in 2020 are not due to COVID, but to other untreated medical issues.

From smart home technology to assist with aging in place, health monitoring wearables, and advancements in virtual doctor visits, one can expect huge growth in the IoMT world.

Working from Home (WFH) IoT is another area where significant advancement is expected.

We’ve seen the widespread use of collaboration platforms and cloud computing solutions in 2020 as so many of us have taken to remote working.  In 2021, for industries where a physical presence is necessary, remote monitoring systems will likely become more commonplace.  Staff who typically monitor automated manufacturing processes and industrial operations in person will be able to do so remotely and when alerted to an issue requiring human interaction will be able to respond accordingly – either remotely or in-person should protocol require.

IoT in retail is nothing new but in 2021 it will likely grow significantly in a few ways.

Advancements in online retail have helped many – even smaller – merchants keep their doors open – at least virtually.  Mega merchants like Amazon and Walmart are employing all sorts of automation including robotics to minimize human contact in their distribution centers and automated supermarkets.

RFID tag, Radio Frequency Identification chipWhile this may sound a bit like ‘Big Brother’, RFID or radio frequency identification tags are commonplace in retail as a way to track inventory and are beginning to be used to collect data on customer purchases to streamline and improve the shoppers in-store experience.

Another application for RFID is contact-free payment.  Regardless of social distancing precautions, sheer convenience will likely see contact-free and cashless payment options continue to grow with apps like Google Samsung and Apple Pay; Venmo, and numerous other Venmo alternatives.

Every time we talk about the IoT, we remind you to be vigilant about privacy and security and this time is no different.  Here are a few articles that tackle the subject:

Aside from keeping you and your data safe as the IoT continues to grow, it’s important that you have the speed you need at home for Telemedicine, Smart Home Technology, Remote Working, and the fun stuff like gaming and streaming entertainment. Check out our Bandwidth Calculator to make sure you do.