The artificial intelligence of things (AIoT) is the point where machine learning and devices capable of autonomous communication come together. The result is products capable of ‘thinking’, both individually and in tandem with one another, and making intelligent decisions on-device as a result.
These smart devices can make decisions based on sensory input, without reliance upon cloud intelligence. That’s a big deal: our Edge of Now report suggests 96% of engineers think the AIoT will make a difference worldwide.
But what does that mean? Where, specifically, will the AIoT offer enhanced functionality – and what does that look like?
Given the huge scope for this technology, it can be hard to put in a box. So, we’re breaking down five industries that, perhaps, stand to gain the most from the AIoT.
1. The smart home
The smart speaker has introduced the everyday consumer to the AIoT; 11% of consumers own one in the UK alone, according to The Eco Experts. They’re the training wheels that teach you how to interact with one device to impact many, from a smart thermostat to voice-controlled lights.
The AIoT has the potential to expand that range of devices. Set-top boxes, TVs and low-power appliances already benefit from voice control, and will see this develop further to introduce seamless communication with other home electronics, and more efficient power consumption.
Beyond that, we’ll see more experimental use cases, and wider cooperation across the smart home ecosystem. From smart speakers that can detect bad falls and alert emergency services, to doorbells that recognise you and activate your preferred lighting and temperature after a long day at work, we’ll see more unconventional convenience than ever before.
Such intelligence could be the future for the vehicle on your driveway, too. With self-driving cars such as Waymo already on our roads, the sophistication of automotive electronics is developing year-on-year.
For the everyday consumer, that’s likely to mean enhanced voice functionality, widespread sensor improvements for dashcams, and increased access to autonomous vehicles. They may also be capable of keeping themselves in check as with Tesla’s over-the-air software downloads, enabling updates over Wi-Fi.
3. Smart cities
As the AIoT evolves, it will create the market conditions for AI-capable processors at a mass producible price point. That will allow the AIoT to be integrated into city infrastructure.
In practical terms, this could mean reduced power consumption for street lighting, automating swathes of city parking infrastructure, and a hugely enhanced view of traffic flow. We’ll also see touchless interaction expand, with voice-enabled and proximity-sensor doors protecting the hygiene of a post-pandemic population.
4. Connected healthcare
These sensor developments can apply to your health too. Smart watches and blood sugar monitors are another foundational technology for the AIoT, demonstrating that we can digitalise our health into an easily digestible format.
We need to be able to share that data, both for individuals and across organisations. Continuous glucose monitors, for example, can share blood sugar patterns with diabetes nurses to help contextualise symptoms and treatment. Meanwhile the NHS is set to trial the deployment of wireless technologies on one-year bases in order to democratise access.
In the longer term, this approach can improve diagnosis and treatments from hospitals to homes, allowing healthcare professionals to read from the same hymn sheet.
5. Industry 4.0
Wireless networks will also underpin improvements to industrial environments, with intelligent sensors delivering improved safety and security. Real-time sensor data will be able to emergency stop machinery, akin to table saws that won’t cut flesh.
In addition, real-time data and interfacing will also be used for defect detection and maintenance, reporting upon the condition of crucial equipment and machinery. Businesses will be able to make financial projections far more accurately with that in mind.
What’s so exciting about all these use cases is that they’re based on the same principle: enabling devices of all shapes and sizes to communicate, share their intelligence, and elevate the collective as a result. The artificial intelligence of things is not just a revolutionary idea but an inclusive one, opening up new avenues for ingenuity the world over.
If you want to find out more about the potential for AIoT and key market trends you can view the full report here.