The IoT in 2017

The Internet of Things

As we’ve been building connected products, or what is commonly now called the “Internet of Things” at Lab 651, I decided to spend some time reflecting on where I see the industry going in 2017. There’s obviously more to the story than the 3 items below, which I’ll be writing about in future posts, but these are some of the water cooler topics by the team at Lab 651. Enjoy!

Ecosystem Maturity

In 2017 I see companies coming to the harsh realization that they can’t do it all. It’s safe to say that not one person, or god forbid one company is going to be an expert. Long are the days of anyone who can claim to be an “IoT Expert”. It’s like calling yourself and “Internet Expert”; it has no meaning or value. But you still see it. Samsung, Intel and Cisco among others are trying to position themselves as owning the entire ecosystem. Building IoT product takes a range of specialties. Everything from a hardware component supplier to a cloud infrastructure specialist. The smartest thing for a company that has a core competency in one area can do is to hone that competency and own it.

Only Send What You Need

You will continue to see data as a major theme in the Internet of Things. As you may have heard, “It’s all about the data, dummy!”. I would agree with that statement, but in 2017 the focus needs to turn to getting the RIGHT data. Collecting data just for sake of collecting data makes no sense. Systems at the endpoint need to be smarter and both do better analysis of what’s important or in many cases, filter out what is not needed. Extra data not only causes increased costs and lack of efficiency, but it can open up your system to data privacy issues. “Only send what you need” is the motto for IoT in 2017.

The Rise of The Machines

We all know that hardware is becoming a commodity. Moore’s Law has allowed the ability to pack an extraordinary amount of processing power into small spaces. So, while advancements in hardware will continue, the rate at which technology will advance will be much greater in the software and the capabilities that can be done with the high computing devices of today. One area that will continue to explode is Artificial Intelligence ( AI ). As IoT is pulling in larger amounts of data at higher and higher rates, humans will be insufficient to organize it. This is where Machine Learning and AI will be essential. Once these machines start to intelligently communicate with each other, the world of the IoT will blossom.