IoT applications are changing the way we shop, grow our food and adjust our home thermostats.
Technology’s evolution and forward motion waits for no one. Those who knowingly or unwittingly choose to procrastinate are left behind, while those who embrace tech trends rapidly help usher in new ways for businesses and consumers to interact. In many cases, these changes amount to industry disruption, creating new opportunities for startups or continued growth in an existing market.
The Internet of Things, or IoT, is one of the buzziest terms at present. Many developing technologies are part of this space. The IoT is a network of physical objects (the “things”) embedded with electronics, software, sensors and network connectivity. These elements enable objects to collect and exchange data without a need for human interaction. Each of these technologies relies on the IoT in a different way, providing a competitive advantage or differentiator.
One of the most well-known IoT applications is found in retail. Radio-frequency identification (RFID) uses wireless tech and electromagnetic fields to transfer data, automatically identifying and tracking tags attached to objects. The tags — commonly a sticker or other label — contain electronically stored information. This has huge benefits for retailers. Those who use RFID tags can expect approximately 99 percent inventory accuracy, a 50 percent reduction in out-of-stock events, a 70 percent reduction in shrinkage and sales increases ranging from 2 percent to 7 percent.
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