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96% of retailers rely on the Internet of Things

They believe it will be the most important technological initiative of the decade

  • Key4Communications

The Internet of Things (IoT) is beginning to emerge as a useful tool for retailers. According to the latest survey prepared by Zebra Technologies and conducted by Forrester Consulting to business decisors in almost 600 global retail companies, almost 96% of them are willing to make the changes necessary to use the IoT. 67% of them have already implemented IoT and another 26% plans to deploy within one year.

This research has revealed that the majority of retailers believe that the Internet of Things will be the most important technology initiative of the decade and therefore they are willing to make the changes needed to adopt it. Not surprisingly, different experts in new technologies predict that IoT will be fully implemented in billions of people's everyday lives by 2025.

The IoT means the digital interconnexion of everyday objects with the Internet. Its use is not only reduced to connect smartphones or tablets, but goes further and includes all types of products. According to the multinational Cisco Systems, there is a Dutch company, Sparked, which uses wireless sensors in cattle, so that when a cow is sick or pregnant, it sends a message to the farmer. Each cow transmits 200 MB of data per year.

But the IoT goes further. It also assumes that objects can "talk" to each other. For example, if your workshop is delayed 45 minutes, this is communicated to your alarm clock, which allows you to sleep 5 more minutes. In a major international consumer electronics fair which was held last January ( CES Las Vegas) the IoT began to be at the center of innovation in products. There was showcased the Temp Track. The Internet of Things includes "wearables", ie digital devices that are placed on the body as digital bracelets and even this Temp Track, a thermometer attached to the body that takes the temperature for 24 hours and then sends data to the doctor.

Workers in the retail industry believe that the IoT can improve business operations, customer experience and create new revenue streams.

Zebra Technologies survey also revealed that:

-More than half of retailers surveyed expects the IoT to provide operational and actionable data about the location and status of tracked objects. That will help enhance processes and optimize costs in supply chains. Likewise, they also expect to improve operations and customer experience and create new revenue streams.

-Retail professionals consider real-time location systems  (RTLS), mobile computing and bar codes as the most important technologies for the implementation of the IoT. Data analysis, security solutions and devices with sensors were cited also as solutions needed to use the IoT.

-56% of those surveyed said that the challenge of integration is the main obstacle to the implementation of the IoT, while 47% cited security and privacy as a major concern.

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