Broad Look at Critical Applications of IoT


When thinking of critical applications of Internet of Things or IoT, the main image that comes to my mind is the first episode of the season 2 of a U.S. TV Show called “Mr. Robot” (USA Network, 2016), where one of the recurring characters, Susan Jacobs, “an Evil Corp General Counsel, known as Madame Executioner” (, 2016), portrayed by Sandrine Holt, got her smart home hacked by activists.

Susan Jacobs lost control of all the facilities in her home, i.e. air conditioning, hot water, etc. and when calling the support service, she realised that she cannot unplug anything because all the wires are inside the walls. She is then forced to leave the house.

The house is presented as a “nearby” futuristic vision of how houses could be connected in a recent future. In this episode, it reflects a dramatic scenario on how to “lose control of your technology and have it turn against you” (Epstein, 2016).

After watching this episode, my immediate reaction was “wait a second, I think we have some pretty well connected devices already! Could we already be in danger? Where is IoT currently applied?”

My first reflex was to go to Google and type “where IoT is used?”: 26,000,000 results returned in 0.65 seconds (, 2016). Indeed, it seems that it is a “hot” topic. Let’s refine the research.

How many devices are connected?

Gartner forecasted in 2015 that 6.4 billion devices will be connected and used in 2016, a growth of 30% compared to 2015, and that number will go up to 20.8 billion devices by 2020 (Gartner, 2015).

Gartner classifies devices into two categories, the ones that can be used by consumers or businesses for multiple purposes, and the ones that are specific to an industry (Gartner, 2015).

In which areas is IoT applied?

There are plenty of rankings on the Web of where IoT is applied.  We choose to use the one from a consultancy company completely dedicated to providing market insights about Internet of Things. This firm is called IoT Analytics and is based in Hamburg, Germany. We do believe they are credible enough and act as subject matter experts so that their content can be used for what follows.

They performed two types of ranking of the top 10 most popular Internet of Things applications.

Ranking by Popularity

This ranking has been performed in February 2015 by using three criteria:

  • “What people search on Google”;
  • “What people talk about on Twitter”;
  • “What people write about on LinkedIn” (Lasse Lueth, 2015).
Figure 2: (Lasse Lueth, 2015)
Figure 1: (Lasse Lueth, 2015)

Ranking based on real IoT Project

This ranking has been performed by analysing 640 IoT projects in August 2016.

Figure 3: (Bartje, 2016)
Figure 2: (Bartje, 2016)

Comparison between people perception and real projects

Between these two rankings, out of 10 categories, 8 of them perceived by people are actually considered at high priorities by companies and they currently develop projects around them. These would be considered then as critical applications of IoT.

  • Smart Home
  • Connected Car
  • Connected Health
  • Smart Retail
  • Smart Supply Chain
  • Smart Home | Connected Building
  • Smart Grids | Smart Energy
  • Smart Farming | Smart Agriculture


It appears that the applications of IoT are various and would affect our day-to-day life.

As a team, we are curious about the connected health category because it directly affects our physical integrity, our body, and we do believe that it would be the most critical application of IoT amongst all of them.

Our next publications will narrow the scope of security issues surrounding critical IoT personal medical devices. The next post will deal with the current situation of IoT and medical devices.



Bartje, J. (2016). The top 10 IoT application areas – based on real IoT projects. [online] IoT Analytics – Market Insights for the Internet Of Things. Available at: [Accessed 19 Nov. 2016]. (2016). Mr. Robot (TV series). [online] Available at: [Accessed 19 Nov. 2016].

Epstein, A. (2016). “Mr. Robot” played to our worst technology fears with a mini horror movie about a hacked smart home. [online] Quartz. Available at: [Accessed 19 Nov. 2016].

Epstein, A. (2016). Not smart enough, apparently. (USA Network screenshot). [image] Available at: [Accessed 19 Nov. 2016].

Gartner, (2015). Gartner Says 6.4 Billion Connected “Things” Will Be in Use in 2016, Up 30 Percent From 2015. [online] Available at: [Accessed 19 Nov. 2016]. (2016). where IoT is used. [online] Available at: [Accessed 19 Nov. 2016].

Lasse Lueth, K. (2015). The 10 most popular Internet of Things applications right now. [online] IoT Analytics – Market Insights for the Internet Of Things. Available at: [Accessed 19 Nov. 2016].

USA Network. (2016). Mr. Robot. [online] Available at: [Accessed 19 Nov. 2016].


Image Courtesy of QZ.

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