The Internet of Things, or short IoT. What did we have before that? Internet of humans? Don´t we humans use things like PCs, laptops and phones to connect to the internet? Yes. And that has consequences too. Humans are great in making mistakes and then blame the internet. And humans can decide to switch on and off the device or change it settings. Autonomous devices that are not meant to be configured frequently is a different ball game.
The Internet of Things as it is developing now has so far three issues that have to be overcome:
The first is safety. There are many articles written about it. No need to add more in this post. Unfortunately we see totally unsafe devices being connected to the internet. Why? The devices are made by hardware manufacturers. Their DNA is hardware. Think about car companies. They view the world from a car perspective with an add-on Internet connection. Let me be clear: I don’t say they have no knowledge, it is simply an add on to a car for them. What is the result? Cars get connected to the internet using Android. Does not make me happy, Android not exactly the safest OS out there. It would be better to come with no OS solutions, like in an airplane. It is pretty much in line in writing code in assembler language.
Second, having said hardware brings us to another issue: hardware has a cost price, COGS, Cost Of Goods Sold. It boils down to gross margin and if competition heats up a price erosion may destroy these margins. Therefore, will we see many startups trying to build hardware? Probably yes. The issue is investors. Many investors prefer software business with its lucrative 100% gross margin. In certain areas I predict that there will be progress in Internet of Things hardware startups. I am referring to the Brainport area of Eindhoven in the Netherland. That is a techno area that has started innovating with hardware more than 100 years ago. They understand very well how to manage hard ware.
The third topic is my favorite. Are you annoyed by ringtones? Notification tones? Just imagine that every piece of IoT hardware would generate a tone like Whatsapp on your smart phone. It would result in a cacophony of sounds. Obviously, this is not what we are waiting for. Solutions are being researched: Prof Berry Eggen at Eindhoven University of Technology talked recently on the radio about his view. His department at my Alma Mater is studying how humans perceive sound and wants to apply the findings to avoid beeping and jingling devices all over the place being less or not annoying.
The last word about the Internet of Things has not been said yet. Who owns the data? Other legal aspects. Think a bit and more questions will come to your mind.
I suggest you visit the IoT Solutions World Congress in Barcelona on October 3-5, 2017. There we can meet and have discussions about the Internet of Things.
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