Four Ways Indiana Has Sharpened Its Position in IoT

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With the number of connected devices expected to reach 28 billion worldwide by 2021, the Internet of Things has changed the way hardware interacts with people and how connections take place. In fact, nearly 16 billion of those connected devices will be related to IoT.

Since IoT's global launch, Indiana has evolved into a leader in IoT initiatives as the state's biggest industries continue to recognize its power and economic impact on our jobs and lives.

With new initiatives on the horizon that will forever change our way of living, Indiana has maintained its position as an IoT trailblazer by continuing to promote positive collaboration, embrace new technology, revolutionize everyday experiences and create a rich ecosystem of IoT companies.

Promoting Positive Collaboration

There is an ever-growing expectation for cities to embrace this new force of technology and invest in solutions that spur modernization. With global spending on IoT expected to reach $1.29 trillion by 2020, the pressure to innovate has sparked a new wave of positive collaboration between our local officials and business leaders.

By working together, we are launching sustainable techniques that manage urban growth and are identifying new ways to evolve. This includes building upon Indiana’s developing venture community though the Next Level Fund that supports increased entrepreneurship and innovation in our state. Continuing the united front will ignite new solutions that increase productivity, decrease costs and improve quality of life.

Welcoming 5G Networks

Business interest in IoT grows alongside the emergence of cutting-edge wireless networks. While traditional networks can facilitate video streaming and data download, IoT requires a more robust system that can be upgradeable to 5G to ensure applications, contacts and sensors connect properly.

As one of the nation’s fastest growing midsize city tech hubs, Indianapolis has repeatedly been labeled as an ideal market for wireless companies to deploy new infrastructure that will handle a larger quantity of internet-connected devices. AT&T has already announced it will be launching its 5G service in parts of Indianapolis, making it the second market for the company’s newest high-speed internet service. By embracing this technology, the city will unlock new IoT solutions that will positively impact the city’s economy as well as its residents. 

Revolutionizing Everyday Experiences

The ever-expanding Internet of Things is not just transforming businesses, but altering lifestyles through local improvements in public transportation, parking, healthcare, customer service, security and more. These enhancements help streamline communication, conserve energy, save money and simplify everyday lives.

IoT initiatives are also playing a major role in the entertainment industry, especially with large sporting events, such as the Indianapolis 500. Executives at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway have leveraged IoT to bring iconic change to a legendary sporting event while setting a new standard for other major sporting brands worldwide.

Since super-connected stadiums report higher profitability, as well as improve stadium security, additional IoT initiatives that enhance the fan experience can be expected to launch in the coming years.

Creating an Ecosystem of IoT Companies

Indiana is home to many companies that are making strides in the world of IoT, including Cummins, Eli Lilly, ClearObject and our team at Sharpen. By working together, businesses of different sizes, backgrounds and industries have created a rich ecosystem that continues to attract talent and spark new statewide advantages, such as the launch of the new membership-based IoT Lab.

Advancing IoT

As we move into 2018, businesses - Sharpen included - will need to stay focused on helping companies in Indiana and nationwide leverage IoT to make customer service among other initiatives more proactive. In order for IoT to have value in the consumer market, companies need access to technology that not only captures and stores data, but can think and act on that data. For instance, with the power of IoT, instead of a consumer calling the electric company when the power goes out, contact center can immediately notify them of the and proactively dispatch a utility worker to fix it. And this is just one example. By continuing to work together, our state can further reap the benefits of IoT.

Moving forward, Indiana will continue to conjure opportunities for us to bring our city further into the new age of innovation and provide sandboxes for discovery. We look forward to being part of the movement to advance our great city.

Cameron Weeks is chief executive officer of Sharpen.

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