- The European Patent Office (EPO) received roughly 5,000 Internet of Things (IoT) patent applications in 2016, the World Economic Forum Agenda reported. That equals 54% more than those received over the past three years.
- Manufacturing, agriculture, health, transport and other sectors have already been affected by IoT, and more applications are expected, as anywhere between 26 and 30 billion smart objects are anticipated to gain access to the average home and workplace by 2025.
- From 2011 to 2016, 42% of applications came from 20 companies, mostly in Asia, with Samsung, LG and Sony leading the way. Europe, France and Germany are the biggest innovators in the space, according to the report.
The growing prevalence of IoT-equipped devices is in no danger of cessation, yet there are still challenges to adoption.
Some predictions have the IoT market tripling by 2022, during which time the data collected could most effectively be employed toward digitalization efforts. Currently, the most common use of IoT lies within the supply chain, with manufacturing operations spending roughly $105 billion on the technology during 2017.
Despite snowballing, the deployment of IoT does not always run smoothly. For example, retailers currently struggle with inconsistent data sharing systems, inhibiting easy inventory visibility and replenishment.
"To enable the movement and sharing of data through many disparate systems, standardized processes and procedures will be needed to ensure a rapid response," said Michelle Covey, vice president of Retail Apparel and General Merchandise at GS1. "Without standards to ensure all supply chain partners are communicating based on a common language, IoT development is sure to be disjointed at best."
"GS1 Standards — such as the Electronic Product Code (EPC) that works in tandem with the passive UHF RFID tags used in retail today — enable better interoperability and have been proven over the last decade to deliver a consistent and reliable inventory view," she told Supply Chain Dive. "The use of item level RFID raises inventory accuracy from an average of 63% to 95-99%, according to the RFID Lab at Auburn University. The RFID Lab also reports that item level RFID improves inventory labor productivity by 96%."