By Adrian Hinrichsen, Marketing & Business Development Director of Datumize
The above infographic is astonishing when you really delve into the numbers. The last few years have been quite interesting when it comes to the IoT space.
I have personally taken a back seat and watched how the industry has sprouted, from an embryonic platform to an early catalyst for possibly becoming the next “Skynet” (no pun intended). For some time now pundits have been predicting great things for the Internet of Things (IoT), from smart cities and smart homes to smart energy grids, driverless cars and autonomous robots. What is in no doubt are the number of “things” that now have “connected capability”, and it is rising fast; according to one leading analyst, 6.4billion connected things will be in use by the end of this year, an increase of 30% from last year, meaning 5million new things are being connected up to the internet every single day. The term internet of things (IoT) was coined round about the turn of the millennium and is widely held to mean the connection of “things”. There are a number of factors driving IoT. First, consumers are demanding greater convenience, speed of delivery and personalisation of the goods and services they consume. There are also other drivers for the IoT explosion we are witnessing. The costs of infrastructure are on a downward trajectory. Sensors are becoming smaller, cheaper and more energy efficient and battery life is improving. The further innovation of cloud computing platforms and the emergence of specialised IoT services on them mean that the data collection and analysis necessary for wide scale deployment are more accessible.
Here you can see one infographic from Deloitte in 2014 that shows the value they analysed for smart homes and smart cars. Interestingly enough these percentages have not differed too much till now.
Is IoT Fact or Future?
IoT is right at the top of the “hype” cycle and firmly perched to what everyone is talking about. Mckinsey & Co predict that the economic impact of the IoT could be between $3.9tn and $11.1tn per year by 2025. That is a huge industry considering it was only born 16 years ago.
One of the main question I get asked a lot is “where do you see IoT making the most advantage”? Currently the top industries are domestic/leisure, utilities/energy and transport/automotive. At Datumize we are seeing traction in all these sectors with each project very much different to the next. Our everyday environment is changing, sometimes without us even noticing, however our lives are being made easier for it.
Although we are moving quickly to an IoT environment, we are also facing “Barriers to connection”, where businesses and consumers do not share the same vision of IoT. One suspicion is the concern for security and how IoT technology could be hijacked and manipulated by those for ill intent. Other factors are more technical in nature, and seem to be around operating systems, pricing and current offerings. All of these factors will have to be overcome if we are to achieve the holy grail of “smart Cities” and connection of things.
IoT is a concept which is no longer discussed only by technical scientists, it has very much moved into the mainstream. Certain industries have embraced IoT more than others, for example domestic/leisure, utilities and transport are leading the way. We are all consumers and citizens, and a great deal of education needs to occur before the reality of IoT is understood and accepted by us at large. Data is the key to IoT and organisations seems to want to get their hands on that “Dark data”, but do not know what to do with it once they have it, or how to turn it into a value for their business. It is here that obstacles occur in our everyday business environment as the resources needed have currently not been implemented into the infrastructure and this will not happen until businesses understand the value that is passing them by on a daily basis within their organisation.
IoT is potentially the most exciting technical revolution to have happened in a long time, and if we are able to help businesses and consumers connect in a smarter way, help build the resources and infrastructure to support this new environment, then the way we live and work will change forever, in a very positive way.