OK so we’ve been hearing all the hype about the IoT. Everything around us is going to become smarter and they are going to “talk” with everything else including us. It makes you kind of wonder when you see nations, governments, large corporations, small companies’ even individuals taking serious interest in the Internet of Things about where all this is really going.
If we look at the following graphs the first from the MIT Technology Review and the Second from Gartner it will give us a clearer picture about what is really going on:
The first chart gives us pretty good idea about what is happening we can see that as we approach 2020 that growth in PCs & Laptops, Tablets and Mobile phones is tapering off near around the 16 billion mark but devices or things is shooting from about 1 billion devices in 2010 to over 12 billion in just 10 years that is a staggering 12X increase!!! The report by Gartner shows that connected PCs smartphone and tablets are actually dropping with IoT enabled devices reaching a staggering 25 billion!!! No wonder everyone wants a slice of this IoT pie because it is a growth driver where the slices are getting bigger really fast. No one can afford to miss out on this.
Miniaturization and nanotechnology are quickly allowing us to make small computers that can be placed on almost anything coupled with smaller cheaper radio chips, capable software and more efficient micro sensors the potential for diverse product design and development increases almost exponentially. Meaning we can start to place these radio enabled computers on almost everything. Who knows with more advances we might even be connected directly to each other someday creating the Internet of You and Me (Check out the book Nexus by Ramez Naam)!!!
If you look around us the average car in the US since 2007 has 60 microprocessors’ some connected by radio links to the central computer of that car and these electronics make-up nearly 40% of the cost of the car itself. Think about the number of networking devices that will be needed to cater to all these Internet connected devices. Think about all the software coding needed to get the products to “reason” with each other. Think about all the marketing companies rubbing their hands together mining all the data produced from these IoT enabled devices. Finally just think about the sheer number of microprocessors needed to be manufactured for each individual smart product and the sum total of everything needed to create the IoT and the number quickly become mind-bogglingly huge both in sheer volume and value.
The IoT has now become a concern of everyone because it will create greater economic value for the global economy. Gartner believes that the value for the IoT enabled economy will be 1.9 trillion USD by 2020 or for comparison about the size (GDP wise) of the tenth largest economy in the world today. The Internet of Things enables companies to develop customized solutions that are optimized for each individual customer which will in turn enable companies to adapt new innovative business models creating new markets and a new economy.
Countries and International organizations have started fostering and promoting the IoT. The US Government has started promoting the IoT as the “Cyber-Physical Systems” hoping to improve safety, sustainability, efficiency, mobility and the overall quality of life. The EU hasn’t been hanging back either in the EU Commission Digital Agenda for Europe report they say “ it could generate billions of Euros that easily translate into growth and employment, provided it ensures trust and security for the European citizens and businesses. At the same time, the IoT will bring hyper-connectivity to a global society, using augmented and rich interfaces” while in the upcoming Sixth Annual Internet of things Summit EU stake holders are coming together to discuss what is happening and what is going to happen. China has already invested 800 million USD for the IoT and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao identified IoT as an “emerging strategic industry” in an interview on state media. The UN itself got into action predicting the IoT back in 2005. Other countries are each gearing up for the coming IoT world.
So in the future if your shoes suddenly say your foot smells and asks you to change your socks or your toaster rebels and says that the doctor has ordered you to cut down on carbs or if your girlfriend says she is too busy talking to her flower pot to meet up with you don’t be surprised. After all you’ll be living in the world of the IoT. Rather let us say “May the IoT be with you”!
Stay with us more IoT stuff to come soon!