In a recent blog post I wrote about the fascinating array of screen technologies at the Consumer Electronics Show. I particularly noticed that even the word "screen" has now become something of a misnomer. Here's what I took away from the conference regarding the so-called Internet of Things, or connected devices.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is the future.
The number of things connected to the Internet exceeded the number of people on earth in 2008, and more than 26 billion devices will be connected by 2020. Continued declining costs in bandwidth, processing and sensors as well as new ways of analyzing data will drive its rapid growth.
Everything can be connected.
Currently less than 0.1% of things that could be connected to the Internet are connected to the Internet. There will be four keys areas of the IoT--cities, homes, cars and wearables. Smart cities will monitor water, gas and electric usage, analyzing data to create efficiencies. All "dumb" items in our homes will become connected, from lightbulbs, to chairs, thermostats and washing machines. The car will become the largest mobile device. What we wear will become smart about where we are, what we are doing and how we are feeling.
Devices are becoming more personalized.
Connected devices and sensors will generate massive amounts of data about people and enterprise. Today devices are generating information about us, such as what temperature we like our homes to be, the taste of beer we like, how much food our cats eat and even if we are lying or not. This will allow companies to deliver bespoke experiences relevant to their customers throughout their daily lives.
IoT will predict potential failure of devices.
At the simplest level we will be informed when our cars and our home appliances may be on the verge of failure, allowing us to get ahead of the situation and prevent unnecessary costs. More broadly, real-time analytics and wider automation will create billions of dollars of efficiencies across industries and economies through the avoidance of breakdowns and outages.
Operating systems are blazing the IoT trail.
Apple, Google and Samsung are leading the charge and building the IoT platforms of tomorrow. In the summer of 2014, Apple announced a new "smart home" platform, Google purchased Nest for $3.2bn and at CES Samsung made a $100m pledge for developers to help create a more open IoT platform.