The Internet of Things continues to grow, bringing convenience and high function to businesses and homes alike. From enhancing accessibility to monitoring health and personalizing customer experiences, smart technology can offer time and convenience benefits in multiple aspects of everyday life and industry.
Below, eight experts from Forbes Technology Council share their selections for the best, most transformational—and fun—IoT devices on the market.
1. Smart Home Devices
Smart home devices are among the best and most needed developments in the IoT segment. The development of these technologies is important as they are not only improving our day-to-day lives but can also increase the inclusivity of both home and office spaces. This will erase the boundaries preventing some people from leading a normal life and set a new standard of living. – Daria Leshchenko, SupportYourApp Inc.
2. Smart Fitness Trackers
First of all, smart fitness trackers are user-friendly and can be extended with any functionality. They can be used for their primary purpose—monitoring your physical activities—and they can also transmit data to your medical doctor, who can use the remote mode to monitor your health condition 24/7. Or you can embed the payment function into them and buy, say, a bottle of water even when you don’t have cash with you. – Alexey Makarov, Qulix Systems.
3. Healthcare IoT
As the U.S. population ages, we must continue to look for ways to deliver healthcare more cost-effectively. IoT in healthcare is growing in prevalence both for tracking basic statistics (e.g., weight, blood pressure, blood glucose, etc.) and for advanced testing, such as genome sequencing and radiology. Telemedicine, home health monitoring and continuous patient monitoring are new frontiers enabled by IoT. – Steve Pao, Hillwork, LLC
We have grown accustomed to convenience. Ticketing on public transportation? Smartphone. Responding to Slack? Smartphone. Making payments? Smartphone. But with each smartphone usage case comes the extra steps of taking it out of your pocket, purse or bag and unlocking it. Enter the smartwatch. Unlock your car, use the ticketing system, reply to people and pay for items—all with a wave of your hand. – WaiJe Coler, InfoTracer
5. Bluetooth Low-Energy Tags
Bluetooth low-energy tags are changing the way healthcare facilities track equipment, patients and even employees in real time. They allow for a live analysis of device utilization throughout the facility, which can help facilitate more accurate seasonal asset deployments and budgeting. – Cody Barnett, US Med-Equip
6. Voice Assistants
Voice assistants are transforming the way we communicate and conduct our daily lives—and it’s not just about convenience. Vocalizing our needs and desires may seem like a luxury when it comes to smart homes and car dashboards, but voice assistants are also enabling people with disabilities or limited literacy to access important information and opportunities, from healthcare advice to educational material. – Daniela Braga, DefinedCrowd
7. The Smart Ball
Adidas’s Smart Ball is innovating soccer. This intelligent, app-enabled ball has built-in sensors that can track kick data, including strike points, speed, spin and trajectory, and it offers advice on improving advanced plays, such as power bends and knuckleballs. Its use in casual and professional settings means the Smart Ball will change how athletes train and how coaches teach. – Christopher Yang, Corporate Travel Management
8. Personalized Restaurant Experiences
IoT will help personalize customer experiences in the quick-service restaurant industry. Some brands have begun using device tracking and sensing to better track guests during their in-store ordering journey, providing personalized recommendations to drive revenue and check size. This application helps improve guest loyalty and provides key data points to improve operations. – Tanvir Bhangoo, Freshii Inc.