What is the Future of IoT?

Connected devices will…

  1. Actually be connected. 
    Today, connected devices is actually a misnomer. For one, a “connected device” only syncs with a handful of other devices. We will soon see a unifying IoT standard come to life. It could be Google’s Project Billo (Thin Android OS for connected devices) or another competitor.
  2. Become consultants.
    Once connected devices can talk to each other on a unified platform, they’ll be able to predict consumers needs before consumers actually have those needs. Let’s use the example of a smart fridge connected to a smart watch. The smart fridge will be able to tell the smartwatch what a consumer ate and the smartwatch will then develop a customized workout based on that intake. IoT devices will leverage data to provide informed recommendations that deliver value to consumers.
  3. Be expandable. 
    A sensor is the only limitation to the power of a connected device. However, sensors are only needed at certain times. The iPhone 3rd-party hardware ecosystem is an early example of what is possible for connected devices. The lightning cable was used to connect devices to an iPhone. However, the future of the extensible connected device ecosystem will not be add-ons by 3rd parties but rather be integrated into the device itself. Google’s Project Ara and Blocks (a modular smartwatch) are perfect examples. Further on in the future, we will see sensors that can update their functionality by activating code from an application.

What, specifically, are the main benefits of a connected life:

  1. Proactive Personal Assistant:
    The ultimate vision for connected devices is that they become smart enough where they help consumers make decisions. For instance, before a consumer knows they need to increase their reps in the gym, their connected devices will speak to each other to formulate a proactive recommendation. Before a consumer is aware that they’re a health risk, their devices can speak to other to detail how continuing present behavior could become increasingly detrimental.
  2. Automation:
    Connected devices will increasingly leverage data and software rules to generate automated recommendations. For instance, a consumer can be working late and their smartwatch picks up data points from their sweat, heartbeat and email calendar to identify that the consumer is stressed. The watch notifies the lights in the room to change colors to improve your mood, the thermostat to cool down the temperature in the room, and the consumer receives a notification to take a 15 minute break.
  3. The Full Picture:
    Each connected device will provide a piece of a larger picture that defines you as a whole. In the past, recommendations and decisions to improve an individual’s life were made in silos. Connected devices will take data from various silos to identify problem areas that were previously unidentified.

What are some potential pitfalls?

There is no centralized operating system that powers IoT devices. This is a still a requirement for IoT to achieve its full potential. While competition will help drive the development of standards, there will always be certain limitations. For instance, Apple’s Homekit won’t be compatible with Android. These limitations will force consumers to again choose a provider for their smart connected lives.

When will “connected lives” be ubiquitous and “normal” and not just an emerging concept?

When Apple’s Homekit, Android’s Project Brillo, or an open source competitor (like Linux ) expand to enough devices to encompass a complete day in the life of an individual. At this point, these devices will all be able to share information effortlessly and become much more useful.

Filed under: Platform Innovation | Topics: connected apps, IoT

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