Why It Is A Worthwhile Idea To Invest In Big Data

Why Investing In Big Data Is Worthwhile

Big data is the term used to describe the massive amounts of structured and unstructured data that we are inundated with on a daily basis. According to a recent report, we produce a staggering 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every 24 hours. The rate at which data is being produced is increasing exponentially year on year, so much so that in the last two years alone we have produced over 90% of all the data on the planet; a statistic that should give any business pause for thought.

It is only recently that businesses are starting to see the immense power of harnessing big data in order to predict trends, further research or make informed structural decisions. All over the world, we are starting to see just how useful it can be to capture and collate impressively large sets of data. What the world is coming to see is that big data has the functional capability to generate wealth in just about every industry. Investing in big data is a goal every company should aim to achieve, not just for financial gain, but also for the future of the company itself. Here are just a few reasons why investing in Big Data is a great idea:

Personalised Customer Experience

One of the most obvious reasons to invest in big data analytics is to customise your user experience. With big data, you can analyse behavioural patterns and trends of your customers to help you design target goods and services. The analysis of CRM’s, emails and POS will help build a marketing strategy that perfectly suits the needs of your customers.

Determining Market Trends

Market trends are ever changing and big data analysis is the key in predicting these changes in real time. Having the right information makes it easier to introduce new and exciting products and apps that satisfy your customers’ needs, while forging new partnerships at the same time. Data driven information will give you the ability to develop advanced marketing strategies with minimal resources.

Improving Business Operations

Big data analytics plays a key role in streamlining the efficacy of your business operation. By analysing big data, businesses can accurately identify key strategies that are predicted to work while avoiding those with predicted negative outcomes. By harnessing the potential of big data, you can identify and fill in gaps in your communications network, operations and technology operations so that your team can perform the most important tasks with optimal efficiency.

Keeping Tabs on the Competition

It is much easier to understand how your competitors gain potential customers using big data analytics. By analysing your competitor’s social media platform and how frequently they get involved with brand support, you can get an idea of what trends are linking customers to the brand. With big data you can analyse how their content receives shares or likes, as well as the overall engagement of users on their platform.

Future Investment

Big data is not something that will be around for the next five years and then fade away. Tech giants like Google, Microsoft and Amazon are already deeply invested in the future of big data. Just about every major tech company is currently trying to figure out a way to mine it and monetize it in some way or another. Back in 2015, it was predicted that within 5 years, 80% of all major businesses would invest or plan to invest in big data.

In 2016, funding for big data analytics reached the $1 billion with 2017 eclipsing that by some way. Big data is the future of business whether we like it or not, and like most tech, getting on board sooner rather than later is only going to improve your businesses current and future situation.


Mobile Apps Development Trends for 2018

Mobile Apps Development Trends for 2018

Mobile apps development is growing at a very rapid pace in response to evolving customer demands and the need to create a point of difference among the applications themselves. Emergent trends over the past few years have rapidly evolved into generally accepted norms in the mobile app world (an example is in-app purchases).

2018 presents a new year for multiple innovative trends in the mobile app world. Here are 5 mobile-apps development trends you can expect in 2018.


1. Incorporating Internet of Things (IoT) into app development

The internet of things has revolutionized how homes and businesses conduct their operations. Interconnected devices are being used to share data in real time and to create smart homes, smart factories, and even smart health. At the center of these interconnected devices are mobile apps. In 2018, we expect mobile apps to be used as the centerpiece for controlling interconnected devices from the comfort of mobile platforms.

Incorporating IoT into app development will, therefore, continue to be a hot trend over the near future. And with IoT expected to grow from $157 billion in 2016 to $661.7 billion by 2021, the IoT trend is here to stay.


2. Payment integration into mobile applications

In the mobile apps development world, recent years witnessed the use of mobile applications as methods of payment in everyday situations. With technology giants entering the mobile app world, we started to experience these applications being used to pay for groceries, retail purchases and even to conduct bank transactions.

We expect mobile apps to become the ultimate payment-platforms due to their convenience and flexibility over other traditional payment methods. In 2018, mobile apps will continue to be the platform for secure and convenient mobile transactions.


3. Augmented and Virtual Reality apps

In 2018, we can expect to see the growth of augmented and virtual-reality beyond the entertainment and gaming sphere. Mobile apps will continue to incorporate this technology into their development. In fact, the retail, engineering and healthcare sector are among the industries that are at the forefront of pushing these technologies.

As mobile app development strive towards differentiation and keeping up with consumer trends, we are likely to witness the increased adoption of these technologies into multiple apps.

With Augmented Reality (AR), products/services can be presented with a higher level of detail, and companies can demonstrate the functions of their products in real time. Virtual Reality (VR) provides unique marketing channels for demonstrating products and their functions without using much physical space.


4. A rise in the importance of Mobile app security

Mobile applications hold a lot of our personal data. From identity information to payment data and even your home address, these apps manage and store a growing amount of sensitive data. The security of mobile apps has been a growing concern in 2017 and will continue to be in 2018. A lost smartphone can put a user’s personal information at great risk.

In previous years, we saw more apps integrate security features such as a simple code for remote access or the use of API. We expect to see more of these security features being incorporated over the near future.


5. On-demand applications

As customers continue to look for added convenience in their everyday tasks, mobile app developers are likely to continue creating on-demand applications to meet this need. We are likely to witness more innovative apps for daily activities such as laundry, cleaning, taxi services and food delivery.

As these apps continue to rise in popularity, expect to observe the trend growing towards added convenience, availability, and easier payment options.

What Causes Machine Learning Algorithms To Go Wrong?

Why Machine Learning Algorithms Go Wrong

It is a fair statement to say that at some point in the near future, algorithms will be responsible for running a significant portion of our lives. Whether it is work related, home, social, online or societal structure algorithms are increasingly becoming prevalent in all spheres.

The advancement of cognitive technologies and data analytics has led to an unprecedented explosion of algorithms across the globe. These complicated mathematical models can have a profound and lasting effect on society. From the types of medical treatment we receive, to the jobs we are offered, the loans that are approved, to changes in the judicial system and just about everything in between.

The Future of Machine Learning

From current spending and compound growth, it is expected that in the next 5 years, spending on cognitive technologies will reach the $47 billion mark; essentially paving the way for even more advanced machine learning algorithms. As these algorithms become more complex, they seem to be gaining an aura of infallibility. While they do provide industry with an opportunity to navigate a regulatory environment, the important thing to remember is that algorithms are susceptible to risks from accidental inputs to biases or even fraud, with catastrophic results.

As more and more algorithms are introduced into the working world, we are seeing a sharp rise in the number of cases where algorithms are misused or go wrong. At their most fundamental level, algorithms are merely programs with an input and output function. As such, there are three key areas that could cause an algorithm to go awry. These include the input data, coding errors/design and output interpretations.

Input Issues

Algorithms are only as good as the data fed into them. There are plenty of things that can go wrong with input data. For starters, the data could be out dated, incomplete or completely irrelevant for the task at hand. Since there is a human factor involved, input data can be tainted by certain biases. As the saying goes, if you feed rubbish in, you get rubbish out. There is also the possibility that the data used for training the particular algorithm doesn’t match with the actual data used during normal operations, resulting in an alternative outcome.


The second area where machine learning algorithms can become disrupted is in the design of the algorithm itself. Again, we are counting on the human factor to design the algorithm in the first place. As such, the design can be affected by biased logic, incorrect modelling techniques or flawed assumptions. Even if all the input data is correct and the basic modelling of the algorithm is sound, there is still the possibility of inserting a coding error, which may not be immediately noticeable in the output data, but over time, become quite significant. Once an algorithm has been inserted with the correct input data, a sound design model and correct coding, the output data can be collected and interpreted.

Output Interpretations

The final reason why algorithms can go wrong is down to how we choose to read the data. Most often, the output data is interpreted without regarding the original underlying assumption. There is also the possibility of falling victim to incorrect data output, or using the data inappropriately.

Managing Algorithmic Risk

An incorrect design or output from algorithms can result in potentially catastrophic decisions across a range of functions and areas, including information technology, sales and marketing, human resources, operations and even risk management. The risks involved can lead to long-term implications including damage to the financial operation of a company, the company reputation, and even the operational system.

As a result, it is now essential that companies and government agencies manage algorithmic risk, in the same way that they’d manage any other kind of risk to their business or operations. This could include constant monitoring and testing of data inputs, basic workings and outputs across the board. As algorithms become increasingly commonplace, those who create them need to ensure that they are utilised correctly, fed the correct data and regularly updated to reflect any environmental or circumstantial changes.

Is AI having a measurable effect on solving UX Design issues?

Can AI Solve UX Design Issues?

Lately, there has been a lot of talk about AI and its role in UX Design. Artificial intelligence has become the official buzzword of 2017, with most major corporations using AI’s capabilities to improve efficiency, accuracy and deliver a measurable effect on the bottom line. When it comes to UX design, AI is altering the role of the designer, bringing in a whole new set of opportunities, as well as challenges the fore. Traditionally, UX designers and their teams would use vast amounts of usage data, metrics and usability tests to understand how to improve the efficacy of a design or system.  With AI, all of that has changed.

We now have a mountain of actionable data that we never had access to before. This gives businesses a greater insight into the optimisation of the user experience as a whole. On a basic level, the user experience is about singular, human-to-device interaction, based on how an individual will react to particular aesthetics and a set of structures. With the help of AI, businesses are developing a far more quantitative approach to the user experience, with actionable data playing a major role in the decision making process.

A Helping Hand

The naysayers of AI have voiced their concerns, saying that ultimately, automation will negatively affect the role of the UX designer. What they fail to understand is that UX teams have a psychosocial approach to problem solving. The skill of a UX designer is based on their ability to understand the functionalities of a product and accurately predict how the user will interact with it on a human level. They are essentially the bridge between the two worlds. Bringing these two worlds together is a role that ultimately falls to the designer, which is unlikely to change for the foreseeable future.

What is changing is how the product is being designed. Instead of using the traditional approach with checklists and a basic set of deliverables, UX teams can make data-informed choices when looking at the initial design process. Users continually want a more personalised experience, which means UX designers will have to incorporate new skills from other fields of design to meet the requirements. UX designers are not accustomed to analysing mountains of data. Going forward, it will be crucial for teams to be able to understand the concepts of AI in order to pick up specific patterns in user behaviour.

Creating a Tailored Experience for All Users

With an advanced understanding of the AI information, designers can work together with data analysts to create user-orientated applications and websites. AI will also play a major role in tailoring a product for an entire group of users, instead of a just a specific sector. The conventional way of testing products was the A/B test, which essentially designed a system on a majority vote. The downside of this approach was that is completely discounted the input of everyone else. By effectively using AI tools, designers can provide a tailored user experience to just about everyone.

We can already see this in action with personalised real-world examples such as Netflix and Spotify that offer recommended playlists and targeted advertising based on user preferences. Going forward, we can expand this customisation within the base enterprise. With CRM systems, the interface is usually the same for every user with the base expectation and the person’s familiarly with the software determining the design. With AI, designers can dive down into the individual level and design products that can engage and guide the user based on their desired action.

An example would be if a user was logging into a system and needed to complete some form of sales entry. The system could then guide the user through the process, while adjusting the guidance profile according to previously learned behaviour. As it stands, most companies already have the ability to customise the user experience. AI will come into to play, conducting usability tests that the design team can use to extrapolate information such as the persons location, their job title, the device they are using, the session time, screen recordings, total number of users, drop rates for the flow of applications and number of unique visitors.

Using AI to Create Realistic Models

When we consider the role of AI in UX design, it is important that the right set of solutions be provided to the individual at the appropriate time. The information being collected by the AI must be effectively handled and put into action. For example, if continual data is showing that a broad section of users are having issues with a specific enterprise application, designers can automate a guidance system with tips at specific failure points. Not only will this make the user more amenable to the product, but also complete the task at hand.

At the end of the day, AI algorithms make jobs, faster, easier and a lot simpler. By harnessing the power of AI to learn user behaviour, UX designers can solve design problems quicker and create realistic models based on quantifiably user preferences. This can lead to more personalised applications, and essentially prove their role in the company.

As businesses move towards becoming more user-orientated, it is vital that UX designers become familiar AI and big data. Being able to accurately unpack the right data could mean expanded opportunities when engaging in a particular system. This transition is already having a major impact with lower IT issues, as well as spurring on greater efficiency and improvements in productively as a whole.


Examining the Mobile App Development Sector in Brazil

A Closer Look at Brazil’s App Development Market

Brazil is a bit of an oddity when it comes to technology, as for many years the adoption of smartphones was something of an anomaly. When Apple released its first iPhone in 2007, a large portion of the world sat up and took notice, but in Brazil, it took a good few years for the mobile revolution to kick into gear. In 2013, Brazil boasted the 7th largest economy in the world, but according to Google, smartphone market penetration in the country stood at only 26%.

However a few short years later smartphone adoption began to increase at a dramatic pace, and by the 3rd quarter of 2016 smartphone sales had grown 48% more than the same period in 2014. This catapulted national smartphone usage rates to over 53%, and an estimated 76.1 million out of 125 million Brazilian mobile phone users now own a smartphone.

A Fast Growing Mobile Market

It is estimated that between 2014 and 2019, the Brazilian smartphone market will grow at an incredible 25.97% CAGR, as the use of smartphones continues to skyrocket nationally. Already, as many as 24% of Brazilians conduct financial transactions via their phones, clearly illustrating just how eagerly they are prepared to embrace mobile services that are monetised.

Although the majority of Brazilian smartphone users are under the age of 29, the most significant growth has been recorded in the over-35 demographic. This is evidence that the older generation is now engaging with mobile technology, and a wider audience is developing.

The growth of mobile use and the rapid adoption of smartphones in the last 4 years is proof that Brazil has become increasingly tech-friendly. This mobile trend is one that Brazilian businesses are readily able to capitalize on, and the development of highly localized apps has increased tenfold. The mobile marketplace is also open to developers from across the globe, and any app developers who are able to create products that cater to the South American marketplace specifically should see good returns.

Digital Dealings

It’s only to be expected that with a boom in smartphone adoption comes a boom in app development. According to a study competed by App Annie, the number of locally developed apps in Brazil doubled between 2013 and 2014. This caused the value of iTunes and Google Play-based apps to grow by 40%, which is a marked increase from just a single country. A 2015 OpinionBox study also showed that more than 39.5% of smartphone users in Brazil purchased in-app content, illustrating that apps are not only becoming increasingly popular, they are also very profitable.

This creates not only the ideal opportunity for local businesses to capture the attention of those who have become entrenched in the mobile sector, but it also offers opportunities for those further afield to both develop apps and to spread their knowledge and teach developers new skills. A well-established web and mobile development company could teach Brazilian developers a lot about creating apps that are user friendly and that will generate maximum revenue, and there is plenty of space for established companies to claim ground in Brazil and work within the app development sector. This will benefit the Brazilian economy in multiple ways, and it will drive employment figures upwards, as a new tech-embracing generation emerges.

What’s been termed as the ‘app economy’ globally has yet to really come into its own in Brazil, but now that smartphone use is rapidly increasing, there are so many opportunities for developers, and for those looking to go in to the field. There is also the opportunity for businesses to diversify and expand their offerings, and this should drive revenue up too.

Overcoming Hurdles

As with every emerging market there are always hurdles that need to be jumped and potential pitfalls that need to be navigated. In Brazil, the instability of the economy is the biggest hurdle as it affects the way users engage with their smartphones. Brazilian mobile operator Oi ran a poll to determine how Brazilians accessed the Internet using their mobile device, and the results showed that 68% of smartphone users relied on free Wi-F hotspots to connect to the Internet. This was proof that cost remains a huge factor in the mobile sector, and the fact that Brazilians also prefer Android powered mobile devices to the far more expensive iPhones speaks volumes.

Despite the market being incredibly cash conscious, many businesses have found a way to hold the attention of consumers without incurring massive costs themselves. There has been a wave of DIY app building services that are affordable, and have spurred on the development of apps that are more localised, rather than offer a one size fits all solution. This has led to a large number of small apps suited to individual needs being created, and Brazilians have been quick to cotton on to this idea.

There are already well over 80,000 Brazilian-centric apps, but as many of the DIY app builders only cost developers- or wannabe developers- R$3 a month for access to their platform, the numbers are not surprising. These apps cover just about everything, from local soccer scores to those that connect users with neighbourhood restaurants, but their quality is not always that good. Of these 80,000+ apps in circulation, only a 3rd or so are actually of decent quality and perform properly on their native platform, the others are simply subpar DIY builds that offer a less than stellar experience.

For any app development company that can create apps that are cost effective and high quality, the Brazilian mobile market is one that deserves a look-in. The market looks set to continue its skyward climb in the next few years, despite being on somewhat shaky ground economically. You can’t stop progress, and now that Brazilians have a taste for what their smartphones can do, the popularity of apps will only keep increasing.


The Downward Slide of Business Intelligence

In 2016, there was a lot of focus on emerging BI trends and the growth of Business Analytics. In 2017, things look a little different. While there are a number of Business Intelligence trends that are stable, the big picture is not as clear as we may have thought. In fact, there seems to be a definite downward slide in BI. Between 2016 and 2017, trends in BI markets have not shown any significant gains. A recent poll which asked 2800 vendors, consultants and users for their opinions on the importance of BI Trends, came up with three main areas of focus; these being data quality management, self-service BI and data recovery.

At the same time, there were a lot of BI trends that showed a huge downward swing. Once the Big Data euphoria had worn off, businesses started to regroup and look at BI in a realistic light. As such, there were a significant number of trends that took a hit in 2017 namely Mobile BI, Visual Design Standards, Real-time Analytics, Agile BI Development and MQ management. We have seen over the past few months that user dissatisfaction of BI continues to plague many corporations. The main concern businesses have is the fact that there is simply too much data, as well as a delay in the production of information. We can add to the list a perception of low quality information as well as a lack of focused or relevant data.

The Pros and Cons of BI

Going back to the basics, Business Intelligence is simply an application to analyse raw data, and when used correctly by developers and analysts it is very useful. But it doesn’t tell businesses how to use data or how relevant data may be. While there are a number of pros to BI like the ability to visualise data quicker, track KPI’s and access information whenever you want, the challenge lies in implementing and processing the information in a way that is not only usable, but more importantly instantly beneficial. This is where the biggest problem lies. Accessing the right information, making it relevant and making it useful.

The cons of BI are vast and can be seen in many mid-level and major corporations. For starters, the cost of BI Management is an issue that has not yet been resolved. Even for companies that use cloud-based and mobile solutions, there are still only a handful of vendors that in the BI industry. If we consider the overages, even a basic package can work out more costly than expected.

Strategic Usage of Big Data

In some instances, multiple BI applications may be needed. In order to maximise Big Data, companies would need to invest in an entire umbrella of services to make BI a more integrated system. Then there are the issues of security, regulations and understanding of BI to consider. Looking at recent statistics we can see that more than 70 per cent of companies claim to be data driven. However, only around 27% of these companies have a clearly defined BI strategy. Those who are using BI are finding that at least 74 per cent are having difficulties actually defining business requirement for analytics.

If Big Data and Business Analytics are to see any momentum toward the end of 2017, there needs to be a greater understanding of the basic functions of BI. Businesses need to go back to the beginning and calculate the value of the data from the start. Companies that are finding problems too big to fix or correction process to difficult, must focus on developing a company-wide data governance strategy. If current issues persist, there is a danger that BI will lose its efficacy all together and be seen as white elephant for major corporations.

Synergo Group on Clutch

Providing custom software development since 2005, here at Synergo Group we offer quality services to solve the business needs of our customers. The Synergo Group has built a team of friendly, communicative, and reliable individuals with expertise in technologies such as Java, Python, PHP Frameworks and CMS, Business Intelligence, and Web and Mobile Application development.

At Synergo Group, we partner with our clients and align ourselves with their goals to form a synergized unit. These partnerships have led to quality results for our clients and satisfaction on their end.

Our work has been recognized by Clutch, a ratings and reviews site based in Washington, DC. Clutch’s research analyzes thousands of technology and marketing companies worldwide. For each firm on their site, they gather feedback from clients to get an idea of the services they provided them.

We are honored that some of our customers have taken the time to discuss their experience working with our company. Here are some highlights from our client reviews on Clutch:

“Synergo is extremely focused and keeps the same developer on a project which greatly increases productivity” – Senior Product Manager from a Cloud Based Medical Management Company

“You’ll see Cristi fighting for your business harder than you do. Amazingly, this is true.” – Co-founder of a Classified Ads Startup

Another client, a Legal Innovation Startup, says “The quality of the work is excellent. Synergo Group has been flexible in allowing me to make changes halfway through.”

To find out more about what our clients have to say about our work, visit our profile on Clutch or find us on the Canadian App Developers directory.

How Big Data Is Changing Business Marketing

How Big Data is Changing the World of Marketing

Recently there has been a lot of buzz around Big Data and how it can be used to revolutionise small businesses, especially in the world of marketing. Despite the constant chatter on social media channels, few businesses actually understand the implications of Big Data and what it can really do in a marketing context. To better understand Big Data in the marketing sector, Synergo has taken a look at why any businesses, regardless of their size, should be taking a serious look at Big Data and consider using it as a powerful tool for social media and marketing.

Insight into Customer Preferences

Marketing is all about creating targeted advertising for a specific customer base and understanding your target base is the first step. In the past, companies had to create their own market data, which was then used to formulate targeted advertising. With Big Data, streamlined data platforms can produce a massive amount of reverent data in a matter of minutes.  Having this power means that as a business, you can create advertising that is highly concentrated and more effective than ever before.

Campaign Certainty

Before the arrival of Big Data, marketers had to rely on intuition, market trends, fluctuations and a bit of luck before rolling out a marketing campaign. By in large, it was fairly difficult to judge just how effective a marketing campaign would be. In many cases, the success of the marketing campaign was directly tied to financial consequences, which meant the risks were huge. Today, Big Data can be used for campaign simulations. Businesses can run simulated tests in a virtual marketplace to gauge the response of the advertising campaign. This means that small changes and performance tweaks can be put into place, before going live.

The Big Picture

One of the most impressive aspects of Big Data analysis is how Big Data can provide deep insight into the purchasing and browsing history of a specific target market. This gives marketers essential information as to what their customers are looking for, what they want, what price they want it at and, how they want it delivered, and how they prefer to pay for their goods or services. This not only applies to the current time-scale, but also going back weeks or months. With this information, businesses can actually evolve with their customer base, learn consumer patterns and create apps, products and marketing strategies that are highly focused and effective.

A Leg Up for Small Businesses

It is a well-known fact that from a marketing standpoint, larger businesses always had the upper hand. This was mainly due to the fact that bigger businesses were able to put more resources into the production of data and market research. Big Data has changed all that and essentially levelled the playing field. Now, even the smallest of businesses can compete with major corporations with access to the same market trends and customer data.

Improving Marketing Communications

Modern technology and social media means that the world of marketing is growing and changing at a rapid pace. Social media marketing in particular has been proven to be a powerful medium, and is just one of many ways in which communications between business and consumers has shifted towards the social vantage. Using Big Data for insight into the preferences of consumer communications is essential whether looking at email, video or social media. This information has a huge impact on how a company chooses to communicate with their target audience.

Looking to the Future

Big Data is an amazingly powerful tool for a business of any size. The requirements for the use of such data platforms are simply that a business would want to look for a more effective way of marketing. In turn this would significantly reduce costs, streamline analysis, communications, advertising and ultimately production. Essentially, Big Data makes the whole marketing process faster and easier. What business would not want to get on board?

A Look at The Internet of Things – Synergo Group

Understanding the Internet of Things

 Smart cars, smart homes, smart TV’s, all of these terms have become commonplace recently and in the future, they are going to become even more so. The question on many people’s lips, however, is what makes these things smart and what are they?

In a nutshell, smart devices, cars and systems are all part of what is termed the ‘Internet of Things’, or IoT. At a base level, the Internet of Things refers to the connection between everyday objects, the Internet and one another. The goal of anything connected to the IoT is to provide a more efficient – or a smarter- experience.

Technologically speaking, the IoT is relatively new and for the average consumer it may seem somewhat complex. As debates swirl around privacy, security and standardization an increasing number of companies and big brands are climbing aboard the IoT bandwagon and releasing products for the real world.

To better understand the IoT Synergo have taken a look at how it works, the products it is associated with, and the challenges that are being faced.

An Overview of the IoT

 The Internet of Things has been described as a constellation of inanimate objects that are designed to include built-in wireless connectivity so they can be controlled, monitored and linked over the Internet by a mobile app. These inanimate objects span numerous categories, from light bulbs to wearables, to home appliances and even cars. The IoT is also being utilised by other verticals, including the health care and medical industries, and in transportation systems, as it is hugely versatile.

The point of the IoT is to streamline users everyday lives and to make them more efficient, use less energy, potentially save money, or save time. A great example of this is a smart home device that controls a thermostat. If the homeowner leaves and forgets to turn down the heat, they can do so remotely, thus saving a full day’s costs. Additionally, if they want a warm house when they return, they can turn the heat back on an hour in advance.

An Ever- Broadening Scope

As the Internet of Things expands, the applications for this type of technology are almost limitless, and could be applied in all areas of our daily lives. From being able to turn the heat on and off to turning on lights when you are away from home, activating security systems, turning on the oven or locking the car, the IoT has numerous advantages.

The Internet of Things is also being used by cities to keep tabs on things like the number of parking spaces available in specific areas, the air and water quality and the volume of traffic, and there is plenty of opportunity for growth here too.

The Technical Side of the IoT

The Internet of Things may sound complex, but if you have a basic technological knowledge it’s quite easy to comprehend. The underlying technology makes use of various wireless radios that allow devices to connect to the Internet and one another, such as Wi-Fi, RFID, NFC, and Bluetooth.

Then there are the ‘things’, such as motion sensors, light bulbs, locks or TV’s, and in some cases, there is also a central hub that allows devices to connect to one another. Lastly, there are the cloud services that enable the collection of data so that it can be analyzed, and allows for users to act using an app. Essentially the IoT has 3 components, the communication center, the device and the result.

The Shape of Things to Come

At present, there are a huge number of companies working on IoT projects, with many trying to create standardization so that all devices can talk to one another, across the board.  LG, Samsung, Apple, Philips and Google are just a few of the big names who are working on connected devices, and Gartner estimates that by the year 2020, 25 billion connected devices will be in use.

The growth potential for the Internet of Things is almost unprecedented. Not since the launch of the first mobile phones has there been so much scope for changing the way we live in a technologically enhanced fashion.