Business

Automation Trends and Top 5 IoT Predictions of 2021

Obviously, the pandemic has changed every aspect of our lives: how we shop, work, or play. Now we expect shopping to be easier and faster. To ensure this, business owners keep their presence on various touchpoints thanks to headless commerce platforms. Thus, they upgrade their stores to prepare for rapid market changes. And those who are not ready to optimize their websites globally can create a PWA. It is an excellent first step to update your site’s desktop and mobile versions and cover the needs of most customers. One way to convert the standard store to a PWA is Magento PWA Studio or another similar toolkit for other platforms. The other one is to tailor it to your requirements with custom coding.

In the context of the pandemic, the development of new trends in technology has only accelerated. These include the rollout of 5G, the expansion of automation, and the evolution of the smart cities concept. They will shape trends in 2021 and beyond. This article will present automation trends and the top IoT innovations.

Automation Trends to Follow

1. Hyper-Automation 

Hyper-automation helps to define and automate almost all procedures quickly. It uses robotic process automation (RPA), low-code application platforms (LCAP), AI, and virtual assistants. These tools are considered process-agnostic software. It means that they can find applications in various fields. Gartner analysts say that process-agnostic software will be most in demand. It will serve as a critical factor in the development of hyper-automation. According to Gartner, hyper-automation will reduce operating costs by 30% by 2024.

2. The Role of Automation Architects Will Grow

Amid the increasing complexity of automation processes, companies need their niche experts who can revolutionize business operations. Automation architects establish robotization procedures for corporate use, define policy, and analyze the impact of automation on people and the company. They decide why a particular process should be streamlined or not. And they represent a standardized approach to automating business units for the entire organization.

Top IoT Innovations You Should Be Aware Of

1. Industrial IoT Trends

In the past year, many industries faced disruptions and uncertainties associated with restrictions on the presence of people. But, on the other hand, it boosted rapid digital transformation in engineering, supply chains, and services.

In 2021, production and supply return to their previous levels. The need for industrial automation technologies and artificial intelligence remains huge. As labor shortages become a serious problem, automation with AI, robotics, and the Internet of Things will be the primary alternative for manufacturing management.

Moreover, they guarantee companies malfunction nullification thanks to less human intervention. And if the system encounters a strange problem, it sends a request to the operators. Some of the leading technology companies driving AI and robotics automation to the industry are CloudMinds, Bright Machines, and Kindred Systems.

2. Assisting Medical Staff

In the healthcare sector, technological transformations have also found their place. Innovations evolved due to the risk of contracting coronavirus, e.g., video chats between a doctor and a patient. This phenomenon is called telemedicine. According to previous forecasts, virtual consultations with doctors were supposed to reach 35 million. However, this value is already approaching one billion and continues to grow.

These technologies help the most vulnerable groups of patients, for example, persons with disabilities and the elderly. Since their movement is limited, medical supplies are delivered contactless using drones.

The medical sphere can go even further and utilize AI to scan photos and videos. Sensors monitor the health of patients and warn of the need to intervene. In addition to telemedicine, machine learning will be used to create robots for health care and voice assistants, such as Suki AI.

3. Work from Home Will Stay

2021 will be a continuation of the trend for telework and video conferencing. Zoom, founded in 2011, became the symbol of the pandemic. Just like other services for video calls, time trackers, and remote work management tools did.

Many companies and employees are now using top IoT innovations and AI-powered personal voice assistants such as Alexa. They aim to help you manage your day when working remotely, organize your calendar, and make planning easier.

Technologies provide contact with reality and facilitate teamwork. With their help, you can organize virtual team building, create and share content, train employees, communicate with colleagues, and track project results. And by using immersive presentations and applications like Azure Kinect sensors, you can create a virtual office simulating a regular one to ensure better interaction.

4. Expansion of 5G

5G and 6G technologies result from the increased demand for high-speed Internet and the transition to smart home and city systems. Countries, large corporations, and startups need to ensure data exchange between IoT devices and automatic systems. Together they create new infrastructure, utilities, and modernized applications.

For example, startup Novalume is helping municipalities manage public lighting and data through an intelligent city system. Movandi enables 5G to transfer data over long distances. Australia introduced 5G technology even before the pandemic. In October 2020, Verizon announced the expansion of its 5G network to reach 200 million people. The Swedish company Ericsson has published a report that already one billion people employ 5G networks. And this technology is considered the fastest growing mobile appliance in the history of wireless communications.

Automation trends and IoT predictions, expansion of 5G network
Image credit: Ericsson

5. Creating Smart Cities

Each city has a physical infrastructure made up of different devices. Physical devices located in various areas can record important information. These include public lighting, waste management, meteorological metrics, transportation, etc. If the operator receives this data on time, it can be potentially valuable. Thanks to these details, the city can save on resources and improve the level of service.

Waste management is a typical example of the Internet of Things in cities. In smart trash technology, a fill level sensor is attached to a container. The sensor regularly checks the fullness of the container and transmits information through a communication layer such as a 4G network. The information system records it.

Based on this data, the system plans a waste collection route, optimizes waste management costs, and increases public satisfaction with this service. Another possible extension is applications that allow citizens to report when something is wrong with the waste container itself, such as a fire or when it is overflowing.

Conclusion

In less than a year, the coronavirus has created a different future for the world’s population. The proliferation of new technology practices in response to the changing reality of the pandemic has exceeded expectations in areas such as healthcare, education, and retail. These rapid changes will only continue because the pandemic has just accelerated the development of top IoT innovations that were already with us. 


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Alex Husar

Alex Husar, Chief Technology Officer at Onilab with almost a decade of successful Magento migration and PWA development projects for eCommerce companies around the globe. Being a Computer Software Engineering specialist, Alex is equally competent both in terms of full-stack dev skills and the capability to provide project-critical guidance to the team.

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