How IoT Has Disrupted and Impacted Consumer and Retail Tech

By: Megan Davis

3, December, 2019


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A Business Week article by journalist Neil Gross in 1999 had predicted that “there would eventually be enough devices connected to each other and to the Internet to cover the earth in an electronic skin.” He stated that the beginning of the 21st century would see “millions of embedded electronic measuring devices: thermostats, pressure gauges, pollution detectors, cameras, microphones” were already collecting and using electronic information.”

Whatever Gross said at that time seems so undeniably true today as we see every other electronic device around us connected to the internet. This network of connected things, which we all commonly call as the Internet of Things (IoT), has deeply impacted our lives and will continue to do so in the years to come. Let us have a quick look over some of the following segments that are heavily disrupted by the IoT phenomenon.

Smart home

Thanks to IoT, smart home automation has improved our living and brought comfort through a variety of connected home devices like smart refrigerators, smart television sets, voice-enabled assistants, air conditioners, safety and security devices, etc. What makes these smart home gadgets so fascinating is that their convenience and ability to connect to each other so that the authorised family members can operate them directly from their smartphones.

As the technology is advancing, the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) is making these smart home devices more smarter to the extent that smart homes learn by themselves when and how to react in a situation. For instance, a smart home can automatically turn off the lights of a room whenever an occupant is leaving the room, and as soon as somebody enters the room, the lights are turned on – there is no need to use switches to turn on/off the lights.

This is just one example of how smart home technology works. In the future, smart kitchenware will be able to assist us in cooking food via voice commands, a fridge will be able to order food based on the items left inside, homeowners will be able to share data with companies that will come up with some user-friendly products, and more. There are many more technologies in the offing that will change the entire domestic scenario.


Most IoT-related initiatives in healthcare have played a crucial role in improving the area of telemedicine, which includes remote monitoring and telemonitoring of patients. Other healthcare areas influenced by IoT are tracking, monitoring and maintenance of assets through RFID, which is mostly done at the level of medical devices and healthcare assets, the people level and the non-medical asset level, such as hospital building assets.

IoT also plays an increasingly important role in advanced and integrated healthcare approaches, such as smart pills, smart home care, personal healthcare, robotics and Real-Time Health Systems (RTHS). More and more healthcare specific IoT devices are opening innumerable opportunities and the huge amount of data generated by these devices hold a tremendous potential to transform the entire healthcare scenario.

The insurance industry too has countless opportunities when it comes to IoT in healthcare. For instance, insurance firms can leverage data gathered through health monitoring devices for their underwriting and claims operations, allowing them to detect fraud claims and identify prospects for underwriting. Furthermore, IoT devices help bring transparency between insurers and customers in the underwriting, pricing, claims handling, and risk assessment processes.


The wearable technology is the hottest trend of the 21st century. Smart watches, fitness trackers, AR/VR glasses, etc. are some of the examples of wearable technologies that are small but important part of the IoT sphere. These smart gadgets have larger implications and are already playing an important role in the areas of health and medicine, fitness, aging, disabilities, education, transportation, enterprise, finance, gaming and music.

Apart from influencing the fields of fitness and health, wearable technology is also largely being used in gaming and entertainment be means of AR and VR, which create a much more realistic and immersive environment in real-time.

If you would like to learn more about IoT and consumer and retail tech, why not attend our IoT Tech Expo conferences. We have events in London, Amsterdam and Europe that explore the latest innovations within the Internet of Things and the impact it has on many industries.

IoT Tech Expo Global – 17-18 March 2020, Olympia London

IoT Tech Expo Europe – 1-2 July 2020, RAI Amsterdam

IoT Tech Expo North America – 4-5 November 2020, Silicon Valley