The Internet of Things (IoT) is a network created from connected physical objects. To provide some perspective, it is forecasted that by 2020 there will be 40-80 billion connected objects or 10 connected objects for every one person on the planet. The term “IoT” was coined by Kevin Ashton back in 1999 while he was working for Procter & Gamble, but it has only been just recently that the world’s biggest players are giving it their full attention. Whether we like it or not, we are already living in a connected planet and IoT has only just begun.
Last year, Google bought Nest Labs for $3.2 billion. The Nest system offers a thermostat that can actually learn the homeowner’s daily routines and then adjust itself accordingly. The best part of Nest is its mobile device app that allows users to easily check thermostat settings and change them from anywhere. Sounds cool, but why did Google buy Nest for this huge sum of money? It is directly related to the statistic from the previous paragraph: “10 connected objects for each person by 2020.” Google is using Nest as its entry into home automation and IoT.
The long anticipated Apple Watch launch on March 9th this year was not really about a watch or smartphones. The real play for Apple is its emerging ecosystem of IoT services. The Apple Home Kit is a framework for controlling connected devices in your home, while Car Play allows you to easily connect to your car using an Apple device. Let’s not forget how Apple Pay enables convenient, cashless payments. Whether it is with your iPhone or Apple Watch, the real growth will come from connecting people to their environments and it is well underway.
During the past twenty years, the focus has been on connecting people to people. In the next twenty years, it will be about connecting people to things. This will create enormous amounts of data that will generate a lot of new challenges. The companies can best harness the power of Big Data will be the ones leading their industries in 2020 and beyond. I truly believe our world will significantly change in the next five years as the connected planet concept transitions from theory to reality. For some people, this is quite scary as literally everything one touches is somehow connected to the Internet. Only time will tell, but there is no stopping the IoT.
For more information on IoT, please refer to the following articles:
Apple Emerges As A Promising Internet Of Things Platform At CES 2015, Forbes, Aaron Tilley, January 9th, 2015 http://www.forbes.com/sites/aarontilley/2015/01/09/apple-homekit-ces/
Apple Watch: It's an Internet of things play, ZDNet, Larry Dignan, March 10th, http://www.zdnet.com/article/apple-watch-its-an-internet-of-things-play/
What Does Google's Purchase Of Nest Mean For The Internet Of Things?, Forbes, Drew Hendricks, January 20th, 2014, 1/20/2014http://www.forbes.com/sites/drewhendricks/2014/01/20/what-does-googles-purchase-of-nest-mean-for-the-internet-of-things/
For more information about the Corvinus Global Business blogger, go to https://www.linkedin.com/in/kevinmjackson1.