Internet of Things (IoT):
virtual fitting rooms and smart shelves

Let's see when the term "Internet of things" first appeared, how you can virtually try on Lacoste shoes, why smart shelves in supermarkets appeared, and how virtual fitting rooms work in Timberland stores.
Internet of things (IoT) is a concept of a data exchange between devices over the Internet or other networks. The devices, in turn, collect and analyze data about the user. The term was first used in 1999 at a presentation for the management of Procter&Gamble.

By the way, IoT is an important part of industry 4.0 (it is also the fourth industrial revolution) — the Internet of Things is responsible for automating industrial and production processes using "smart" machines and gadgets that exchange data with each other.
The concept of sustainable consumption, transmitted by industry 4.0, is also embodied in IoT: for example, thanks to smart home systems, it is possible to control the use of electricity, which also has a favorable effect on the resources of our planet.

IoT Market Turnover

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Now the IoT direction is one of the most actively developing in the IT industry: according to the forecast of Technology Business Research, by 2025 the turnover of the IoT market will have reached 687 billion dollars.

This is expected: in addition to the already existing large companies, there are many IoT startups, including Arms Security for cybersecurity of IoT devices in America, Gogoro — the Taiwanese app for working with smart scooters, as well as SimpliSafe — a Boston startup dedicated to the concept of a "smart home".
One of the main reasons for the growing demand for IoT is digitalization of various service sectors: many companies are looking for new ways to attract customers and try to make their product more convenient and cutting edge.

Virtual shoe fitting at Lacoste

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For example, Lacoste has released an app that allows you to try on shoes from their collections virtually: just scan the image of shoes available in store.
According to representatives of Lacoste, one of the main reasons for the development of the app was their desire to attract a young audience that actively uses smartphones.

Timberland and smart mirrors

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Timberland has made steps towards placing smart mirrors in their fitting rooms — one of the IT-companies has developed an app for the them, with the help of which mirrors can recognize and analyze the movements of customers, as well as scan their face and figure, which makes it possible to instantly download a selection of looks for every customer.

You can send a list of things you liked from the selection to your email or save it on your Facebook page.
Smart mirrors are one of the rapidly gaining popularity of IoT trends: every day a large flow of customers passes through the fitting rooms of stores, and most often, customers make a purchase decision after trying on clothes.
Therefore, leading clothing companies are now actively thinking about the possibility of improving the fitting room areas — in particular, adding elements that allow collecting and analyzing information about customers.

IoT in retail

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Retail is also using IoT technologies a lot, not only to attract customers, but also to optimize the work processes of companies: for example, now stores can use SmartShelves to track in a time the shelves on which products are coming to an end or see which positions are out of place.
The so-called "smart shelves" recognize the types of goods standing on them, react to the weight, and transmit information about the items which are out of stock.

Healthcare and IoT

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IoT also influences healthcare: for example, one of the solutions from Philips allows you to conduct virtual monitoring of your medical equipment and software, without waiting for breakdowns, but receiving notifications in advance about possible problems.

skills required for IT-specialists who want to start a career in IoT

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Taking in consideration the rapid development of IoT, more and more IT-specialists are needed there: there is a high demand for data analysts, app developers and cybersecurity engineers.
The most common programming languages for IoT are C, C++, and Java.
Also, according to the results of a study conducted by Northeastern University in Silicon Valley, employers want to see the following skills among IT specialists who want to build a career in IoT companies:
  • Strong analytical skills;
  • Developed communication skills;
  • Practical thinking.
What else to read
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