The Top Countries Adopting IoT (And What That Means for You)
The Internet of Things (IoT) is a global phenomenon. Which countries are making strides in adopting IoT technology? What does this mean for you?
You can check on your home in the States through your smartphone while you’re on vacation in Europe. And companies produce devices from a wider range of countries, giving you more choice.
We’ve talked before about China’s tech scene and how it supports the IoT. Europe has almost a 40% share of the global IoT market. But which countries are making strides in adopting IoT technology? What does this mean for you?
Keep reading to find out what affects you as a consumer.
Which Countries Are Adopting IoT Technology?
According to a 2015 survey, the United Kingdom boasted 96 IoT companies with company headquarters in London. The 2017 Autumn Budget saw an emphasis on technology. That means more research into artificial intelligence (AI), investment in 5G networks, and accessible regulations for driverless cars. The budget showed a commitment to technology and innovation.
Only the USA has more IoT company headquarters than the UK. Other countries with over 20 IoT companies are France, India, Canada, Japan, and China.
Switzerland and Denmark both lead the way with smart farming. Switzerland uses connected feeding machinery to improve their dairy industry. Denmark uses GPS to guide mowing machines in apple orchards.
But these countries have a long way to go to catch up with the Netherlands. In July 2016, the Netherlands became the first country to have a national network for IoT traffic.
This specific network, known as LoRa, is an alternative to Wi-Fi or 4G. LoRa is also known as a Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN). It uses less power than traditional data networks and works across a wider range than Wi-Fi. LoRa uses existing cell towers to boost the signal.
By December 2017, the LoRa Alliance operated in 41 countries.
That Means Better Security for Consumers
Having organizations like LoRa Alliance brings certain advantages. Their goal is to standardize the LPWAN technology which can only benefit customers. One of the current problems with the IoT is the number of protocols used by manufacturers. You might buy a device only to find it doesn’t work with the devices you already own. While using LPWAN as a standard won’t fix that problem, it will bring stability to the wider IoT.
Having a single network dedicated to IoT devices also improves security. At present, IoT security is difficult to manage because of the range of protocols in use.
In October 2017, researchers exposed a weakness in the security protocol used by many Wi-Fi connections. It showed encrypted information was, in fact, vulnerable to hackers. Developments in the Bluetooth Low Energy standard showed consumers don’t have to use Wi-Fi for IoT devices. But many do since Wi-Fi is so common in the home.
Having a secure IoT network like LoRa could leapfrog the security problems of the IoT. You wouldn’t have to worry about hackers recruiting your smart kettle to a network of zombie bots.
Consumers Can Enjoy Better Choice
Having a global IoT benefits you in other ways. More countries will develop communities of IoT companies. They can share solutions and overcome challenges together. Start-ups can work on ideas and collaborate to create new products.
Employees can circulate between start-ups, spreading their skills and knowledge. Countries that adopt the IoT early gain better employment opportunities within the sector.
It also leads to a better choice of devices. You don’t have to buy everything from a handful of manufacturers. Such competition encourages innovation in the marketplace, not stagnation.
Let’s look at an example. The UK-based EVRYTHNG creates hub devices to help devices connect to one another. They focus on huge brands like Coca-Cola. But those hub devices would be useful to home consumers who want to mix and match brands. “Trickle down” technology can only help domestic users.
It’s still a growing area, and there are obstacles as well as opportunities. But here at SURE Universal, we’ll be with you every step of the way to keep you up to date. If there’s a new smart device, know that our engineers are working to make the SURE Universal Remote app support it.
Over to you – what would you most like to know about a global IoT?