As the Internet of Things (IoT) grows we’ll begin to see more physical objects connected and accessible via the internet. Gartner Group predicted in December 2013 that Internet of things would grow at thirty times its 2009 pace this year – a pace far greater than the “traditional” internet. “The growth in IoT will far exceed that of other connected devices. By 2020, the number of smartphones tablets and PCs in use will reach about 7.3 billion units,” said Peter Middleton, research director at Gartner. “In contrast, the IoT will have expanded at a much faster rate, resulting in a population of about 26 billion units at that time.”
In fact, we’re already seeing Smartphone controlled home appliances such as the Nest thermostat and the Samsung smart refrigerator. And wearable items like the FitBit and Nike+ series are currently the fastest-growing segment of the IoT. Just this past week, Samsung announced a partnership with Trek to create a more personalized and enhanced experience for both leisure and professional cyclists. The partnership will tie Trek bicycles to Samsung mobile and wearable devices to monitor cyclist health and facilitate better coordination across competitive cycling teams. Even investor and Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is bullish about the IoT, particularly as it impacts individual health and fitness. He’s especially optimistic about personal tracking devices. “I think we’re coming to a scenario where rather than us having to know what to put in and what’s smart to get a response, there are sensors that are tracking things and then giving us information.”
Cuban is not alone in his optimism. A recent Pew study suggeststhat connected devices will have a profound impact on our lives by 2025. “Many experts say the rise of embedded and wearable computing will bring the next revolution in digital technology,” wrote Janna Anderson, director of Elon University’s Imagining the Internet Center and author of the report. “They say the upsides are enhanced health, convenience, productivity, safety and vastly more useful information for people and organizations. The downsides: challenges to personal privacy, over-hyped expectations and tech complexity that boggles us.”
Brands with a more traditional focus are also joining the Internet of Things, such As the Internet of Things continues to grow at a rapid pace, even more traditional brands like GE are jumping on board. (GEis currently building its own R&D center – and working with Frost Data Capital to create a business incubator for startups focused on disruptive technology.) At Etratech, we know it’s part of our future, and we’re excited about being part of this next technological wave. In fact, nearly every manufacturer is going to have to start thinking in the context of IoT, whether your product is luggage, locks or staplers. As the trend continues, consumers are going to expect all devices to be connected and controlled by their iPhone or tablet.
So, how is your company planning to fit into the Internet of Things?