Let’s talk about one of the powerful innovations I recently discussed at my 10X Innovation Summit. We can start back in 1982, when a modified Coke machine at Carnegie Mellon University became the first “connected” appliance.
By using the school’s early version of the internet, students could find out what drinks were stocked.
By now, you probably know the nickname for the technology within that pioneering Coke machine. We call it the “Internet of Things,” or IoT for short.
Although this technology has been around for more than 20 years, it’s only recently advanced to the point of becoming cheap enough, reliable enough, small enough, and powerful enough to spread all over the world … placing us on the doorstep of a massive technological revolution.
At the center of this revolution will be an explosion in efficiency across our factories, our roads, our airports, our schools, our companies, and dozens of other key places.
You’ve surely heard about the Internet of Things. However, I’m confident you haven’t heard about the most important way it will transform the world and make our lives better. This essay will fill you in.
The Awesome Power of Predictive Maintenance
The Internet of Things is the label we’ve given to the coming world of connected machines and their support systems: Cars, homes, refrigerators, heating systems, lighting systems, medical devices, industrial machines, oil rigs, construction equipment, elevators, ships, etc.
You name it, it’s going to use advanced technology to monitor itself, monitor its surroundings, and communicate with humans and other machines via the internet.
Given all the devices we use every day, it’s no wonder Cisco says 500 billion devices will be connected to the Internet of Things by 2030. It’s also no wonder IoT spending is projected to grow 55% and pass $1 trillion by 2022.
When most people think of the Internet of Things, they think of neat consumer gadgets and tools. For example, a connected refrigerator can monitor how much milk you have and order more from the grocery store when you get low. Another neat application is being able to adjust the temperature inside your house from anywhere through your phone.
The IoT’s consumer applications are interesting and invaluable. But in my opinion, the truly huge value that will be created by the Internet of Things comes down to something I call predictive maintenance.
Here’s how … Predictive maintenance — made possible by self-monitored and connected machines — will produce an explosion in human efficiency … which will reduce our stress, increase our productivity, and increase our profits.
Machines are wonderful things. They make travel easier and faster. They allow us to build modern civilization. They allow us to produce huge amounts of food, energy, and manufactured goods.
However, machines break down.
Every year, we lose billions of hours and billions of dollars to downtime caused by malfunctioning machines.
If you’ve ever been stranded on the side of the road by your car … sat for two hours on an airport runway … or been frustrated by a computer on the fritz, you know what I’m talking about.
Malfunctioning machines are the scourge of productivity and profits.
The IoT is going to help with that … in hundreds of millions of ways every day around the world.
When advanced sensors and connectivity allow machines to monitor themselves and communicate with us, it’s a productivity game changer. It’s a “downtime prevention” game changer.
Instead of needing humans to monitor machines and fix them when they break, machines will be able to monitor themselves, spot problems, and fix those problems at the “least worst” times.
This “predictive maintenance” will make us way more efficient and lower the price of everything.
To wrap your head around the power of the IoT and the gigantic money- and time-saving potential of predictive maintenance, just think back to the last time a flat tire or engine trouble left you stranded on the side of the road …
You probably spent at least an hour figuring out what went wrong and then fixing it. If it was a major problem, you simply didn’t get to where you were going. If it was hot, cold, raining or snowing, it was probably a miserable experience. If you had small children with you on the trip, it was even bigger pain in the neck.
Now … just think if your car could have alerted you to the problem before you left the driveway … and even ordered a mechanic to come out and fix the problem.
Just think if the fix could have happened while you were cooking dinner the night before.
No changing a flat tire in the rain … no waiting on a tow truck. No missing work or appointments.
Just your car predicting the future … and changing it for the better.
This time and money saving dynamic — this predictive maintenance — that the IoT promises will transform dozens of major industries.
Money- and time-saving fixes will happen millions of times per day in dozens of sectors. We will fix problems before they become problems. Flying, building, driving, shipping, manufacturing, and producing energy will get easier, safer, and more efficient. This will put great downward pressure on prices.
I love the idea of my refrigerator doing my grocery shopping for me. But as a financial analyst and investor, I’m much more interested in the IoT’s ability to unleash tsunamis of efficiency and cost savings across dozens of industries
That’s what will drive businesses around the world to spend hundreds of billions of dollars with companies that make the IoT possible. That’s what will create a big tailwind for companies like Rockwell Automation (NYSE:ROK, automated factories), Cognex (NASDAQ:CGNX, machine vision), and Nokia (NYSE:NOK, networking equipment).
Fixing small problems before they become big problems.
That’s what makes the IoT one of the most valuable technologies — and one of the most promising investment trends — in the world.
Matthew McCall is the founder and president of Penn Financial Group, an investment advisory firm, as well as the editor of Investment Opportunities and Early Stage Investor. He has dedicated his career to getting investors into the world’s biggest, most revolutionary trends BEFORE anyone else. The power of being “first” gave Matt’s readers the chance to bank +2,438% in Stamps.com (STMP), +1,523% in Ulta Beauty (ULTA), +1,044% in Tesla (TSLA), +611% in Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (LNGLY), +324% in Bitcoin Services (BTSC), just to name a few. If you’re interested in making triple-digit gains from the world’s biggest investment trends BEFORE anyone else, click here to learn more about Matt McCall and his investments strategy today.