The Future of IoT: What Trends We Can Expect in 2020

January 22, 2020

The year 2020 will be witness to the rise of IoT across all industries, platforms, and devices from wearables to trucks and smart farms.

According to Statista, there will be more than 30.73 billion IoT devices worldwide by the end of 2020. The Internet of Things finds its way to every niche from transportation and logistics to manufacturing and smart cities.

In this article, we’re outlining the most promising trends that’ll be ruling in 2020. So if you’re looking for a present-day business idea, read ahead to learn more about the future – and present – of IoT.

IoT trends to keep an eye on

It’s important to figure out key trends for the following year before coming up with IoT business ideas. We’ve gathered the most recent IoT trends to help you see the full picture of IoT business opportunities. 

1. 5G, the next-gen mobile network

How fast is 5G? Well, you could download an HD-quality movie to your device in seconds. That fast. But the speed isn’t the only feature of 5G that contributes to the development of IoT. It also has low latency and broad coverage that makes fully-autonomous vehicles one step closer to reality.

Besides, the deployment of 5G will make it possible to control even a broader range of devices remotely via applications. This means not only consumer electronics but also machinery that requires fast connection to work well.

Healthcare is probably the field that’ll benefit most of all from the next-gen mobile network. Remote surgeries can become a reality with this mobile network. Plus, 73% of executives working in healthcare expect to offer new services and products to their clients with the help of 5G. 

5g time saving

2. Edge computing

Edge computing is changing the way how data is processed and delivered these days. The booming growth of IoT devices and real-time calculations requiring a lot of computing power are what drive this technology forward.

What is edge computing? Simply put, it brings data and computations closer to the device. With this technology, there is no need to rely on a central location that can be miles away. This way, latency issues don’t affect the data and performance of an application. It’s especially true for real-time data.

One of the early goals of edge computing was to reduce bandwidth costs for IoT data that travel very long distances. The growing number of IoT devices that receive and send tons of data to the cloud is what created a demand for this technology.

For example, one internet-connected camera monitoring factory equipment and transmitting live footage to a background office isn’t a big deal. The problem arises when there are dozens of cameras like that sending live videos simultaneously. The video quality will be lower, while the bandwidth costs can be pretty high.

Edge-computing software and hardware can handle this by processing data and storing it locally. An IoT sensor, an employee’s tablet or laptop, or a security camera can all be edge devices.

edge computing diagram

3. Augmented reality (AR) and IoT

The connection between IoT and augmented reality (AR) keeps getting deeper. While IoT fills a gap between physical assets and digital infrastructure, AR takes digital elements to real life. That’s a great symbiosis.

For example, employees on a shop floor can benefit from this. AR devices (handheld or headsets) can identify what data to display to employees working with a piece of certain equipment. In turn, IoT sensors can measure and transmit that data (temperature, overall condition, and so on). 

Such a combination of technologies can be used to manage the maintenance of equipment placed in distant locations or in places with hazardous conditions.

AR and IoT have a big potential in healthcare. For example, surgeons can use an application designed to reconstruct a body part in 3D along with devices measuring vital stats in a real-time mode. All these could make complex procedures easier for surgeons and safer for patients.

4. Global connectivity

There is an ever-rising demand for connected devices in different corners of the world. That means they should be able to work across a range of countries to accomplish their goals.

Brighter, a Swedish company understood there might be demand for a connected insulin dispenser. It’d take blood samples to measure glucose and make injections. The main problem on their way was to make the device work with a wide range of networks in different countries.

They managed to do it and have recently launched this product on the market of the United Arab Emirates. Insulin dispensers are just one of many examples. There is a need for global connectivity allowing IoT to be a part of our everyday lives, from finding a parking spot to starting a car’s engine remotely (which is an available technology, but can be expanded on).

5. Digital Twin technology

The future of IoT isn’t so bright if the security of using such devices could potentially be compromised. For example, the more company offices adopt IoT devices without taking appropriate security measures, the higher the chances of cyberattacks. Same goes for users’ personal data. The exposure of sensitive data is a real risk modern IoT devices have.

Digital Twin is basically a copy of a physical device. Think of it as a bridge between the physical and virtual worlds. All data is transmitted simultaneously allowing both physical and virtual entities to exist at the same time. Digital Twin can ensure the security of IoT devices without any physical interaction with them. All you need is to create a digital model with the help of specialized platforms.

This technology will be able to auto-update IoT devices remotely through the digital space. It also gives users full control over the devices – they can shut them off remotely anytime they suspect an attack.

The future of Industrial IoT (IIoT)

In 2020, we'll witness the beginning of IoT transition from consumer to industry (IIoT). Here are the industries that will take the most advantage of the Internet of Things: healthcare, retail, agriculture, and household technologies.


A big portion of innovations in IoT will be focused on the healthcare industry. IoT devices allow to reduce healthcare expenses and take patient care to another level. They can assist with introducing new methods of detection of diseases and make treatment more effective. Besides, internet-connected devices can help doctors to keep track of their patients' conditions. Additionally, hospitals can monitor the work of their employees and the condition of medical equipment.

According to Statista, there will be almost 161 million medical IoT devices in 2020. They are: 

Devices for remote monitoring Telemedical systems that let doctors receive and process patient-generated health data.
Wearable devices Devices designed to measure a patient’s conditions. They can inform family members and attending doctors about changes in patient health.
Asset monitoring IoT sensors that monitor conditions of medical equipment. With their help, hospitals can control equipment like defibrillators and are able to find out their defects in real-time.


According to MarketsAndMarkets’ report, expenses in the IoT in retail industry are expected to grow to $35.64 billion this year. There are several IoT innovations in this field to watch out for. 

The boom of applications and next-gen devices Thi is caused by the rapid development of data science, machine learning, and AI. Technologies like AR, VR, and blockchain also play a big role in it.
Improved data analysis  Edge Computing and 5G will make connectivity better and raise the speed of mobile networks.
Voice recognition Fifty percent of search engine queries will be done by voice in 2020. Besides, the voice is used to control IoT devices. Voice recognition is widely used in smart speakers like Google Home.


Earth's total population is expected to reach 9.7 billion by 2020. By that time the importance of IoT will be critical for reducing costs, saving time and feeding the population.

According to Business Insider, there will be 75 million IoT devices in agriculture in 2020. Robots, drones, automated equipment, and other machinery will be applied in the following fields: 

Smart farming IoT devices and software solutions make harvesting and cultivating methods more predictable.
Cattle monitoring  Farmers can use IoT sensors to keep track of locations of their cattle and monitor their health conditions.
Smart greenhouses Remote monitoring can help farmers protect plants from temperature changes. 

Manufacturers of agricultural machinery like John Deere are interested in and pursuing IoT. This means we can expect even more IoT-based machinery for agriculture this year.

Household technologies

IoT-based devices for home is also a huge trend and a perspective market for IoT business opportunities. Here are some of the most well-known smart home devices: smart locks, smart toothbrushes, smart kitchens with sensors reminding people to turn electronics off, and smart thermostats for remote temperature control. In essence, IoT devices are not only going to be more functional, but safer as well.


Let’s face it: 2020 is going to be the year of IoT. Soon, IoT will affect all aspects of people's lives from the industry level to every household.

Are you ready to get started using more IoT devices and technologies in your day-to-day? Then check out all available IoT software currently on the marketplace today! 

Find the best IoT Software on the market. Explore Now, Free →

The Future of IoT: What Trends We Can Expect in 2020 What future trends for the Internet of Things should be expected in 2020? Take a look to see the up-and-coming IoT trends to be prepared!
Vitaly Kuprenko Vitaly Kuprenko is a technical writer at Cleveroad, a web and mobile app development company in Ukraine. He enjoys talking about tech innovations and digital ways to boost businesses.

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