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IoT Apps Integrated with Machine Learning, Blockchain

Internet of Things (IoT) market growth will accelerate in 2017, with the adoption of narrowband IoT (NB-IoT), according the the latest worldwide market study by Frost & Sullivan. This cellular technology uses licensed spectrum and offers a standardized low-power, wide-area network (LPWAN) solution.

Furthermore, machine learning and blockchain technologies are being integrated with IoT capabilities to drive new demand in different industries -- such as financial services or energy generation and distribution.

IoT Market Development Trends

In Europe, IoT connections are set to exceed 9 billion by 2021. Dedicated venture funds for IoT development will help create an ecosystem that is conducive to the growth of startups in the region.

"IoT applications integrate the consumer into the wider connected system to reflect a truly intelligent society," said Yiru Zhong, research analyst at Frost and Sullivan.

The analyst believes that significant funding in the last 18 months suggests that the IoT market is poised for another shift. The next evolution will be from using data to react to events, to using sentient tools and cognitive systems or predictive computing. Therefore, it's anticipated that IoT 2.0 will eventually enable self-healing events in a connected system.

Five Emerging Growth Areas for IoT

1) Platform Play: Market launches of new or revamped platform plays for connectivity, service, and application enablement are continuing.

2) LPWAN: With NB-IoT, companies offering connected service in any form will now have more concrete low-power connectivity options to test and deploy suitable new applications from 2017 onwards.

3) Industry Vendor Convergence: Tier-2 industrial vendor merger and acquisition activities will persist, while established conglomerate giants add digital technologies to their portfolios.

4) Cybersecurity in IoT: Focus will be on enabling multi-layered security approaches, while addressing individual behaviour risks to IoT systems.

5) Consumer IoT: More proof of concepts and provision of discounts or subsidies will encourage consumers to discover, experiment and experience connected IoT applications.

Outlook for More IoT Industry Partnerships

"Q3 2016 witnessed a surge of large industry participants coming together to establish partnerships for promotion of the IoT ecosystem," according to Zhong.

Consumer IoT adoption requires tangible demonstration of product and benefits, and Avanci, Chronicled and Zurich Insurance stood out with new propositions essential to IoT development -- Vodafone and Cocoon led the way in proofs of concept and insurance tie-ups, respectively.

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