Machine Learning Will Set Apart IoT Winners and Losers

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve surely heard the buzz surrounding the Internet of Things (IoT). Experts tell us it’s the wave of the future and that everything in our lives is going to be connected before we know it. With approximately 6.4 billion IoT devices already in use, what will separate the winners from the losers in the long run?

Machine learning could well end up determining which IoT “things” will ultimately survive. There are incredible opportunities here. For example, a fitness band could catch some fluctuations in your pulse that could indicate a heart condition, enabling you to get a diagnosis and treatment before you have a heart attack. This is the type of capability that will guide buying decisions in the future.

Extending Beyond Luxury to Add Value

One of the top devices that people associate with the IoT is Nest. People aren’t buying it so much for the ability to turn up their home’s heater using their phone; they are buying it for its ability to save energy. Convenience alone is not going to be enough to stand out from the crowd.

Right now, many of the IoT offerings can be viewed as nothing more than luxuries. Door locks that can be accessed remotely or radios that suddenly turn on when you walk in the door might be fun to have, but they do not solve any pressing problems that would make ordinary people consider them a worthy investment.

It is machine learning that turns these things into indispensable parts of life. This can be seen in the example of environmental monitors that can detect and treat pollution before it causes damage or the aforementioned thermostats that keep people warm while helping them save money.

Right now, engineers who are skilled in building machine learning into devices are somewhat lacking, but it’s a field that should expand in the years to come. The potential here is tremendous for adding value to people’s lives – and possibly even saving them.

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