With 2019 behind us, our resident experts at Dialog have mapped out their predictions for what 2020 – and the new decade – will bring to the table in the connectivity and automotive spaces. In both these areas we’ve seen a number of massive changes in the last few years and, as our subject matter experts can attest to, we’re still only scratching the surface of what’s possible.
That’s why we’re presenting some of our most significant industry predictions as part of a new, two-part series called “Dialog Predicts.” In today’s post, Adrie Van Meijeren, Dialog’s Product Marketing Group Manager for Low Power Connectivity, shares his thoughts on what we can expect to see in the connectivity market over the next 12 months in more low-end IoT applications.
1. Smart labels and asset tracking will become big drivers for the industrial IoT.
As the industrial IoT continues to expand throughout the next decade, 2020 will see more businesses adopt smart labels across retail and manufacturing. The main factor driving this trend is smart labels’ capability for leveraging Bluetooth low energy (BLE) connectivity to track product usage.
For example, in a retail setting, store owners would be able to proactively track how certain products perform at any given time compared to others – based on location on the store shelves, the time of day or the kind of customer it does or doesn’t attract. This also allows the owner to dynamically price the product based on that behavior.
I can also see BLE tech beginning to replace RFID asset tracking for functions like determining customer foot traffic in one section of the store or tracking item quantities and locations in inventory.
2. IoT connectivity will become increasingly integrated into smart, disposable medical devices.
As much as the IoT has been sparking innovation in areas like automotive, manufacturing, household appliances and the home itself, perhaps one of its biggest game-changing applications is happening in the medical and pharmaceutical space – specifically with patient care.
We’ve already seen more progress on this front via advances in SoC designs, like Dialog’s recently announced DA14531 chip, which is ideal for disposable, connected health applications. I can see more of this kind of design activity taking off in 2020, particularly around the addition of disposable batteries into medical devices. This will be a major contributing factor to the eventual widespread adoption of new connected medical devices like smart inhalers, smart blood pressure monitors, smart glucose meters and so on – all utilizing BLE connectivity to transmit instant feedback to both users and doctors.
Granted, because the time-to-market for medical and pharma devices is so long, it would be optimistic to think that this year will see these devices really hit the mainstream. At the same time, 2020 will be important in laying the groundwork for a trend that will gain momentum in further years.
3. Access to smart appliances will grow in 2020, but don’t expect a mainstream push just yet.
Over the last few years, there has been a lot of hype around the smart home and connected appliances. Smart lights, thermostats and speakers have become relatively more common additions to households, and it’s clear that consumers are interested in what the next wave will bring. Imagine a smart coffee maker, that brews you a cup based on your own stored preferences for milk and sugar. Or a smart dishwasher that bypasses traditional instruction manuals to provide more intuitive and interactive digital interfaces.
It all sounds great, but it will take longer than we think before we reach the point of a completely smart home like this. While the applications of these devices themselves are fairly simple, the conservative nature of the industry means there will be still be a way to go before we see smart home appliances really hit store shelves in bulk.
All that said, it’s because these applications are so simple, intuitive and broadly appealing to consumers that we can expect to see smart appliances become more widespread in 2020 even if mainstream adoption is further down the road.
Stay tuned for part 2 of this series as we run down our experts’ list of predictions for the state of the automotive market in 2020.