IoT is everywhere right now. Although it has been around for some time, IoT is steadily growing in popularity and capability to become one of the most ubiquitous technologies today. According to research and analysis firm Gartner, there were around 8 billion connected devices in use at the end of 2017. That’s a 31% increase from the year before, and it’s not slowing down. It’s estimated that there will be upwards of 20 billion connected devices by the end of 2020.
In its current state, the vast majority of these IoT devices are consumer grade electronics that comprise a category that includes everything from smart home technology like the Nest thermostat to the smart-speakers that are being marketed so heavily in stores. We are just now discovering the true scope of IoT, and it seems likely that, in the near future, many of our most rudimentary tasks can be streamlined by IoT technology.
Of course, IoT isn’t the only technology making a serious run right now. Blockchain technology, the accounting backbone that powers cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, is coming into its own as well. In an examination of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology, The Brookings Institute found that “the Blockchain is the key innovation.” Indeed, despite head-turning price increases and eye-catching headlines associated with cryptocurrency, its best contribution may be the technology that powers it.