The past year was a big one in the seemingly unstoppable growth of IoT technology. Connected devices have quickly embedded themselves in a wider range of everyday facets, from corporate data access to hands-free music playing via Alexa. These notions in mind, 2018 is set to be another fruitful chapter in the IoT industry’s climb to a projected $400 billion by 2020.

Here is a quick roundup of predicted IoT trends for 2018.

 

More growth

At surface level, with new connected innovations rearing their heads almost daily, it may seem like IoT is nearing its ceiling as a major technological trend, but in reality, its ascent is far from finished. In fact, the majority of this growth may have yet to even take place. This specific prediction, while arguably obvious to some commentators, raises an important question: where will this growth occur?

In an ongoing series, I have explored the ways in which IoT has impacted a variety of industries, from transportation to publishing. However, many major industries are just now becoming poised to see significant IoT-based innovations, including healthcare, retail, and industry/supply. In these cases, changes will likely be rooted in a prevailing focus on customer and patient connection, audience engagement and feedback, and more expansive branding.

 

The continued rise of SaaS

Software-as-a-Service technology (SaaS) has already risen as one of 2018’s most anticipated markets, with annual revenue projections exceeding $50 billion. The technology is essentially “a software distribution model in which a third-party provider hosts applications and makes them available to customers over the internet,” and its enterprises currently enjoy a low cost of entry, opening new doors to companies “hoping to up their IT game without having to break the bank.” IoT sits at the heart of this movement, as it will open even more doors in terms of distribution and overall connectivity.

 

Cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrency became a household concept in 2017 thanks to the rise of Bitcoin, Etherium, and other systems leveraging the advent of digital transaction. This year, many have predicted a series of major investments in cryptocurrency- and blockchain-based companies, giving these services potential to become a “new norm” in digital financial markets worldwide. Should these predictions become realized, IoT-enabled devices will serve as their main vehicle, adding another cog to their own increasing motion.