August 28, 2014

The Internet of Things Part One: The Latest Trends & Insights

First, let’s set the table. For Kley, The Internet of Things (IoT) permeates every digital or technology asset we create and/or market. (See our Yonder and Polaroid case studies for example.) And how can it not with the premise behind the IoT being that any object, whether natural, produced, developed, engineered, et al can gain the ability to transmit data over a network? While many see this as “future state,” Kley believes our work must – at minimum – be “informed” by the current and burgeoning revolution of internet-enabled consumer technology and devices. And due to the ubiquitous nature of connected objects already “IoT-ready,” it’s no surprise that according to Gartner, there will be nearly 26 billion devices on the Internet of Things by 2020.

Typically, IoT is expected to offer advanced connectivity of devices, systems, and services that goes beyond machine-to-machine communications (M2M) and covers a variety of protocols, domains, and applications.[1] The interconnection of these embedded devices (including smart objects), is expected to usher in automation and technology reach in nearly all fields, while also enabling advanced applications like a Smart Grid.[2]

Not surprisingly, the concept of a completely connected future is still somewhat nebulous in consumers’ minds. This past May SOASTA (a platform for performance testing websites and mobile apps) conducted a consumer survey that found 73% of US adults were unfamiliar with the IoT. However, when provided with more information and greater details of IoT, 67% said they were excited about the promise of greater connectedness. And who wouldn’t be?

SOASTA’s survey did uncover additional telling cues about consumers’ mindsets about the connected future. The technologies and applications most highly anticipated by consumers are automobiles (39% of respondents), smart home appliances (34% of respondents), heart monitors (23% of respondents), and fitness devices (22% of respondents). Pet monitors – yes pet monitors (22% of respondents) – even beat out child monitors (20% of respondents).

We look for that 73% unfamiliarity percentage to rapidly dissipate and likewise enjoy significant familiarity % increases as the big brands- such as Apple – lead the way. In fact, today a Techcrunch blog stated that Re/code is now reporting that Apple will show off its wearable device on September 9 alongside their new iPhone hardware. The report from John Paczkowski says that Apple’s wearable will incorporate HealthKit, the upcoming software found in iOS 8 that adds fitness and health tracking features to its mobile platform, and that it will also have HomeKit features to help it somehow work together with connected home devices.

This along with other big boys like Ford and Toyota (in car connectivity/advanced integrated technologies) and LG and Samsung (hi-tech/connected home appliances) will lead to “the many” being familiar with the IoT. And this knowledge and usage traction will most likely resemble a hockey stick as more and more new products and applications will not only be “the IoT-ready,” but rather created for the IoT from the very start.

References

  1. J. Höller, V. Tsiatsis, C. Mulligan, S. Karnouskos, S. Avesand, D. Boyle: From Machine-to-Machine to the Internet of Things: Introduction to a New Age of Intelligence.Elsevier, 2014.
  2. O. Monnier: A smarter grid with the Internet of Things.Texas Instruments, 2013.