Internet of Things (IoT): Technology and Sustainable Development
By admin October 28, 2016

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iotOver the years we have seen how technological advancement and innovations have been reshaping people’s view about modern life while adding tremendous value in our global economy. While we are achieving great social-economic growth via technologies, we must also learn to become better at adopting technologies to facilitate sustainable development, to ultimately secure a long-lasting balanced growth globally.

This week saw the “biggest semiconductor deal ever done,”consolidating the chip industry even further. Qualcomm’s acquisition of NXP for US $39 billion has signaled a big switch for chipmakers from the very saturated PC and mobile phone industries to the auto industry. From behind the scene, the “Internet of things” has jumped out of the curtain and caught people’s eyes, with its great potential in fuelling innovation.

Internet of things (IoT), demonstrated in a publication by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) as “the infrastructure that allows all types of devices and machines to communicate with one another,” is estimated to create a global economic impact valued at $2.7 to $6.2 trillion in 2025, according to McKinsey Global Institute. It is transforming our lifestyles and businesses, providing opportunities to various sectors including energy management, connected car, and health monitoring. For example, a wireless, body-worn sensor will allow patients skip hospital stays which can restrict their mobility and burden them with higher expenses. In another example, patients can wear heart monitor devices at home for remote monitoring and evaluation, instead of sticking around the hospital for such purposes and bearing expensive costs.

Similar technologies are making people’s life much easier and the utilization of resources more efficient, helping us achieve many of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in the above case particularly, “to ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all ages”.

In addition to IoT, machine-to-machine (M2M), industrial Internet, industry 4.0, and the ecosystems networks to computer systems (cloud computing and big data) are all components of the Internet of everything (IoE). These altogether are creating new opportunities for organizations to achieve their public-policy goals such as healthcare innovations, economic growth, environmental sustainability, energy efficiency, and public safety, resulting in an estimate of $4.6 trillion opportunity for global public-sector according to the New Economic Analysis by Cisco. Although the IoT is still in its early years, we can already imagine a more sustainable world in the near future.

For more information:

Qualcomm: Internet of Things

CISCO: Internet of Everything

ICC Policy Primer on the Internet of Everything

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

The Role of Technology in Environmentally Sustainable Development

Expert opinion: How technology can catalyze sustainable development

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