In the wake of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the world is experiencing daily technological advancements and inventions. There are so many technological advancements that it is becoming more difficult to keep track of them all! From manufacturing using intelligent machines to Artificial Intelligence used by an app on your mobile phone, there are so many to keep track of! Of all the technological advancements and inventions, one stands out – IoT (Internet of Things). IoT is an umbrella word for a set of hardware or devices that can communicate with one another over the internet to form a system. Kevin Ashton, a consumer sensor specialist, and innovator, coined the term IoT in 1999 to describe the network that connects objects through the internet. However, it was after Industry 4.0 that the boom in IoT technology took place. According to a report by The Economic Times, households have ten connected devices on average and will rise to 50 in 2021.
What is IoT
The concept of IoT is based on the notion of a large number of items or objects. Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) tags, sensors, actuators, cell phones, and other connected devices are widely used in building IoT technology. In general, IoT devices attach to one or more sensors or actuators to produce an output in response to an input. Such a system can provide users with custom controls as required, as well as other features. Consider your friend’s Smart Air Conditioner: at the most basic level, it has a sensor that collects thousands of data points per minute on room temperature and humidity, reads and makes decisions based on that data, and sends the data to his smartphone, which he can then use to set the temperature of the Air Conditioner remotely from an app in his smartphone while parking his car in the garage.
Globally, the applications of IoT technology have a wide spectrum. Below is mentioned a list of a few such applications:
Because of its adaptability to any sector capable of providing accurate information about its service, efficiency, management, and even environmental conditions that can be monitored and managed, the IoT technology is widely used around the world. According to Statista, a German organization that specializes in business and customer data, the IoT technology market is projected to expand at a 28.7% CAGR to about 1.6 trillion dollars by 2025. The Smart Home solutions, one of the most commonly used consumer segments of the IoT technology, will rise to $53.45 billion by 2022 (Statista). In contrast, the IoT market in manufacturing was estimated at $187.33 billion in 2018, with a CAGR of 18.07 percent forecast to reach $487.30 billion by 2024 (Market Watch). Transparency and traceability in production processes and supply chain networks have been in high demand since the start of Industry 4.0. Because of its stronghold in data collection and analysis, IoT devices meet most of the requirements needed to meet such demand. As a result of developments in networked hardware used in IoT, businesses have a constant demand to implement a new generation of systems that enable automatic and real-time interactions among various components of multiple business domains.
IoT in Bangladesh
The IoT market in Bangladesh is also growing at a similar rate as the rest of the world. In 2018, the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) released an order to make IoT legal in Bangladesh. It has mentioned nine sectors where IoT technology can be used in the country: smart building, industry automation, smart grids, water management, waste management, smart agriculture, telecare, intelligent transport system, environment management, smart urban lighting, and smart parking. Sectors that contribute the most to the economy of our country are increasingly adopting such technology. For example, the country’s agricultural sector, which employs the majority of the country’s population, has begun to adopt IoT technology. Local startups have begun to deliver IoT-based advanced farming solutions, including systems that track cattle sleep, heat cycle, and behavior in real-time and provide farmers with timely recommendations. Millennials are becoming increasingly reliant on smart home assistants, such as Amazon’s Alexa, to provide more comfort in their everyday lives, demonstrating the rising market demand in this region. IoT also has an enormous untapped potential in many sectors of Bangladesh, such as transportation safety, environmental monitoring, healthcare management, utility management, smart grid, and social security management.
Certain obstacles need to be addressed first to accommodate a faster growth of the market despite having massive market potential in this technology.
First, the country needs to assure a strong internet connection is properly distributed as it is the most fundamental fragment of the IoT technology. Although Bangladesh has successfully tested the launch of 5G mobile internet, there is still a lack of 3G penetration throughout the country.
Second, there is a lack of technologically skilled personnel as a result of a weak industry-academia partnership in the local relevant industries which causes a substantial deficit in research and development (R&D) resources.
Third, the majority of market leaders are either concerned or uninterested in taking advantage of the benefits that IoT technologies can provide. One of the reasons for such concerns is that incorporating such technology could create bottlenecks in their businesses’ daily processes.
Lastly, the most crucial challenge is the volatility in electricity supply all across the country in both households and industries. IoT technology requires a seamless power supply to operate at full potential.
Specializing on IoT
Despite such challenges, Bondstein Technologies is working at full capacity to incubate the growth of IoT technology in Bangladesh. It is helping businesses integrate with such connected technology and leverage operational efficiency. The company makes advanced B2B IoT solutions using hardware produced by its assembly unit. The company envisions creating a network of connected devices and ensure the ability to remotely monitor and control them through a secured process.
Bangladesh still has a long way to develop its infrastructure in internet connectivity, electricity and its people has to be more adaptive to incorporating new technologies. To host the fastest and most demanding technology – IoT, the country has to be heavily responsive to overcome the challenges within a short period.