The importance of the Internet of Things (IoT) has risen dramatically over the last year, with an increasing number of businesses seeing the value in boosting the interconnectivity of various technologies.
However, according to a 2013 article by Business Spectator, Australia could be at risk of falling behind the global marketplace for this trend due to governments and businesses failing to effectively invest and collaborate. This lack of initiative is despite a recent GE Innovation Barometer showing 82 per cent of Australian executives believe collaboration is the key to innovation.
Writing for Business Spectator, contributor Paul Wallbank said: “For high-cost nations like Australia, the IoT holds enormous promise for our industries to compete globally.
“Key sectors such as mining, agriculture and logistics have to adopt these technologies to cut costs and improve efficiencies.”
The logistics industry could particularly benefit, as the IoT could significantly improve monitoring and tracking at each step of the supply chain. Not only would this enhance accountability, it would also streamline efficiencies.
Transport is another area where changes could be profound. Real-time information on trams, buses and trains can be provided to passengers, while the optimisation of services and maintenance operations would also be a leading objective.
Rising stars of IoT in Australia
Australian companies seeking to embrace the IoT wave may draw inspiration from a number of small businesses that are currently operating in the country.
Analyst firm Gartner cited the IoT as one of the top 10 strategic trends of 2015, adding that 50 per cent of new IoT solutions will originate in start-ups that are less than three years old by 2017.
In keeping with this forecast, Start Up Smart’s Kye White recently highlighted various enterprises that are taking advantage of niches in the Australian market, allowing them to bring innovative products to consumers.
Here is a selection of the organisations he predicted could have a big future in the IoT industry.
Smash Wearables: The company manufactures a wristband that measures performance while playing tennis before relaying data back to an app that provides tips and advice on how to improve based on technique analysis.
LIFX: Originally financed through crowdfunding platform Kickstarter, this Wi-Fi enabled multicolour LED light bulb can be controlled via a smartphone for maximum energy efficiency and convenience.
WattCost: This product is another innovation aimed at those concerned about the environment and their energy bills. WattCost attaches to electricity boxes and provides real-time usage updates to residents and business owners.
DigitalKeys: The Queensland-based firm is pioneering smartlock technology, which allows users to control security from their smartphone. A digital code is downloaded that can be passed on to anyone who needs access to a property, bypassing the need to arrange physical key exchanges and preventing lockouts.
Catch Rob Crowder, Found of Smash Wearables, and Steve Dunn, CEO and Founder of LEAPIN Digital Keys, at the upcoming IoT Connect 2014 on 2-3 December in Sydney, where they’ll be sharing insights on the key to consumer engagement with wearable tech and assessing other uses for smart locks technology respectively.