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An Update on the State of the Internet of Things

An Update on the State of the Internet of Things

Most of you know by now that I am obsessed with the Internet of Things. Here is an update on the state of the industry.

Fairly regularly, I mention my fanboy-like infatuation with the concept (and advances in the industry) of the Internet of Things. After all, when you look at the market potential, the theoretical applications and some practical implementations that have been presented to date, can you really blame me?

State of the Internet of Things

Every so often, I like to look around the industry and see what major announcements have been made, what research has been conducted and get an overall update on what’s happening with the IoT. Here is some of what I have read and discovered as of late.

Projections are Huge

Based on certain studies and analyses of the state of the industry today as compared to where its headed (and at what rate) the market for the Internet of Things is going to be a pretty substantial space. That isn’t all that surprising when we consider the fact that virtually anything can be a part of the Internet of Things. Unlike a lot of emerging and new markets, there are no constraints with regards to the scope of what might be involved.

Certain projections (and there are a lot that vary pretty significantly) conclude that by 2020 (in just five years) there will be anywhere from 24 billion to 50 billion connected devices in the world (up from an already impressive 10 billion today), and that over two thirds of those devices will be IoT devices. Let’s remind ourselves again that IoT isn’t just smartphones and tablets, so it isn’t all that inconceivable that the average person has 5-10 IoT devices (anywhere on their person or in their home).

On top of that, projections suggest that we might see investments as high as $6 trillion into the IoT industry over the next five years.

Business Will Lead the Charge

As with most things (and as we’ve seen to date) the investment in and adoption of IoT devices and practices starts with big organizations and slowly makes its way into every day society.

Of course, early on, a lot of this has to do with the fact that there are high barriers to entry (in terms of integrating IoT applications in several fields) and among those barriers is the prohibitive costs involved. But as those costs have decreased, we’ve seen more brands and organizations moving towards IoT-enabled practices, and a major reason for that has been improved efficiency.

Though we don’t have long-term studies yet that prove this assumption empirically, it is hard to deny the benefits of IoT when it comes to improved productivity. Smart devices are smart for a reason – they make life (and work) easier. As more businesses factor in the savings and increased output that IoT applications can generate, we will surely see a greater (and much faster-paced) adoption of IoT across multiple industries.

Adoption is Happening Fast

14 countries already have more than a 10% market saturation for IoT-enabled devices. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) published a study this year that found that South Korea currently has the most IoT devices, with a saturation of 37.9% (37.9 devices per 100 inhabitants) and thirteen other countries saw rates of over 10 devices per 100 inhabitants.

There were also several countries – namely Brazil, Japan and Australia – that were very close to that 10% saturation. All in all, 24 countries were studied, and there is no sign of this rapid adoption and integration into every day life slowing down (see the five-year projections above).

Connected Driving

One industry that is on the war path to get connected is the auto industry. There are only a few brands that currently connect you to the Internet (some luxury, like Tesla, and more and more overarching brands, like GMC).

It is estimated that the option currently exists in about 10% of vehicles, but in the next few years (again, looking towards that 2020 goal) we can expect 90% of (new) vehicles to have Internet connectivity.

Conclusion

As is often the case when I write an IoT article, I could easily carry on for another few thousand words filled with updates and fun facts (for example, some potential market value estimates value the IoT market at over $19 trillion) but these are some of the more crucial (big picture) highlights we should be aware of when it comes to this space.

Five years is a pretty short timeframe to see all of these estimates come to fruition, but the pace at which the market is currently evolving, it is certainly not out of the question.

6 Tech Trends for Which to be Thankful

6 Tech Trends for Which to be Thankful

As we approach Thanksgiving, here are a few tech trends for which all members of the digital space should be thankful this year.

In the world of tech, things move at the speed of ideas. (I think I’ll start using that more often.) So, every year, there are a lot of new developments that shake up and excited the market. Here are a few tech trends that we can all be thankful for this year.

Internet of Things

If you visit my blog often enough, then you’ll know that I am completely enamoured by the Internet of Things. In fact, I recently wrote an article about why the Internet of Things is the greatest concept ever. Well, it seems as though I am not alone in this thinking.

LittleBits Internet of Things Tech Trends

Recently, there has been a wave of companies introducing IoT starter kits. This comes after the wave of companies (perhaps the most well-known of which was Nest) introducing IoT products. The starter kit allows for your average household item to become a smart item. Companies like IBM, TinkerForge and LittleBits are all breaking into the space, and it shouldn’t be long before we see the dream of a smart house made readily available to people from all walks of life.

Wearables

So, Google Glass might not be the cyborg-esque wearable we all hoped it would be (yet) but that hasn’t stopped the world of wearables from really taking off and essentially creating a brand new, high-demand marketplace.

The market for wearables is on the rise and there doesn’t seem to be a ceiling with regards to where it can go. Theoretically, everything can eventually be smart. Now we have watches, glasses, bracelets, accessories and there is certainly a trend indicating that this is just the beginning. I don’t think I’m alone in waiting hopeful that one day there is a thermometer in my clothes that automatically warms them up for me in the morning on a cold winter’s day. #BillionDollarIdea

Improved AR

While I didn’t mention this trend in my recently published article about trend I noticed at ad:tech in New York, it is definitely something worth getting excited about.

AR (augmented reality) has long been something that fascinated us. When it was first introduced on camera phones (providing us with detailed information about location towards which we point our phone’s camera) it seemed like something out of the future. Now that future is here and AR is not only becoming more commonplace, but more malleable, particularly as technologies like graphene become more widely used.

Smart Accessories (Not Wearables)

We have wearables, so why would we need to include smart accessories? Doesn’t that fall into the category of wearables? Not exactly. These accessories are a little larger.

Trunkster Smart Luggage Tech Trends

The one example that comes to mind is luggage. It might not sound like a field ripe for disruption, but there are groups out there trying to do just that. One such example is Trunkster. This awesome Kickstarter campaign touts a piece of smart luggage that not only goes zipperless, but also features a USB charger for your electronics and, perhaps most impressive, a GPS tracker that links to your phone so you always know where your luggage is (even if the airline doesn’t).

Beacons

Beacons were first introduced before their time (if that makes sense). People were not ready for personalized and proximity-based marketing initiatives, but today they are.

The concept of beacons is a fairly simple bit of technology: essentially, beacons are designed to identify devices and, for example, push notifications to these devices based on their proximity. So, when I walk into a store and I have never registered my device with the store, a beacon might register my new device and send me a notification of a discount for a first purchase. Slowly but surely, beacons are making their way into the market as the tech world and physical market collide in grand, new ways.

Natural Language Processing

Anyone who knows me knows that I generally base my critiques of social listening and analysis softwares based on their natural language processing capabilities. Well, it seems to be an important criteria for the market, because it is something that is getting a lot of attention.

For marketers, natural language processing is something that can be particularly difficult to deal with, especially when it comes to things like social listening. People tend to adopt a very colloquial speech when sharing content on social media (of course). For marketers, this can pose a bit of a problem when trying to determine industry or target audience pain points or preferences. Luckily, plenty of software providers are starting to make big strides in the way of natural language processing, and I can’t wait to see where that takes the industry.

Conclusion

At this time of year, we give thanks for a lot of different things, and for marketers (and plenty of consumers) these are just a few of the exciting tech trends we can be thankful for.

Now, I would like to wish everyone a very happy Thanksgiving, and lots of luck with Black Friday!

What Is the Internet of Things (And Why Is It the Coolest Thing Ever)?

What Is the Internet of Things (And Why Is It the Coolest Thing Ever)?

What is the Internet of Things and why is it the coolest trend of the world of digital right now?

I have long ben fascinated by the Internet of Things. At first, I was fascinated by the term: what does it mean and how can I get one? As I familiarized myself with the concept of the Internet of Things, I realized that it was even more interesting than the name alone. (Otherwise, I probably wouldn’t be writing this post.)

The Internet of Things: What Is It?

As the title of this article suggests, the Internet of Things is the coolest thing in the world. If that isn’t enough of a description for you, then I guess I can get a little more specific.

The Internet of Things is the coolest concept ever.

Image Credit: Shutterstock. Used under license.

The Internet of Things is the concept of connecting everyday things – from your watch to your city’s street lamps – through a connected network allowing them to share, send and receive data. So, put simply, you have a smart phone, a smart TV, a smart watch – imagine a smart city, or state, or country or world? That’s the direction in which the industry of the Internet of Things is headed, and in some cases it already exists.

Corey, Can You Provide an Example?

Back in January of this year (2014), Google acquired Nest Labs for a measly $3.2 billion. Nest Labs has really been a frontrunner in the home automation sphere (hence Google’s acquisition).

The idea with Nest’s products is smart, connected home automation. Their flagship product, the Learning Thermostat is designed to connect to your smartphone and learn your habits in order to automatically maintain your ideal temperature at all times. They have also begun expanding in security and fire protection.

Products like this are prime examples of the Internet of Things: a network is being created in order to create a smart home, whereby everything you own is working as one, cohesive unit in order to improve your living standard.

Pretty cool stuff.

Where We’re Headed

Maybe the most exciting video I’ve seen to date when it comes to the Internet of Things has to do with Cisco’s Smart City project.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCbvxb5t5_8

Imagine a world that ran as efficiently as possible; this is the hope of the backers of the Internet of Things.

Conclusion

We may not be there just yet. This is a pretty advanced concept and it won’t come about overnight. Though we are starting to see this kind of connectivity in home, and, as the video above shows, cities are starting to adopt a mentality that embraces these kinds of applications.

Slowly but surely, the Internet of Things will become commonplace. It’s starting with the trend of wearables (e.g. smart watches) moving into homes and soon enough, we’ll be more connected than we already are (if that’s even possible).