One could get lost amid the bustle of over 4,000 attendees, 250+ industry thought leaders, and over 150 exhibitors at IoT World 2015. The annual conference promised to focus on the monetization of the IoT revolution, but it accomplished much more than that. Anyone that attended got a glimpse into the not-so-distant future.
What used to be pure speculation is rapidly becoming reality. If IoT World showed us anything, it’s that we have entered the exploratory phase of the Internet of Things. The practice of connecting isolated devices is becoming more and more relevant. We predict that connecting devices to the web of ‘things’ will become standard within the next few decades.
The hardware landscape is changing, and it’s future is compliance with IoT.
What this means for the end user, is that household appliances, commonly used objects, and anything that you come into contact with on a daily basis can be connected to the Internet of Things. This trend has been steadily building in an observable way for years – consider smartphones, self parking cars, and locks that can be operated from a remote piece of software.
The widespread prevalence of connected technologies such as bluetooth and accelerometers is only the tip of the iceberg. There are virtually no limitations on what can be connected and why it should be. The Internet of Things is not an arbitrary entity, and connected technologies exist to solve problems. Some solutions that may have far reaching potential, may only become practical as the rest of the internet ecosystem matures.
As we continue to transition into the era of IoT, there is already a lot of speculation on what it will become. The consensus seems to be that the future of IoT is in technology which goes beyond simply harvesting data to be used for predictive analysis. Fully syncing technology with human behavior has the potential to create an environment that not only minimizes human interaction with technology, but changes the way in which technology serves people.
In a traditional setting, the internet environment gets manipulated by the human element. Now, we’re moving toward a trend where “things” are connected amongst themselves, and function independent of human supervision.
According to Acquity Group’s 2014 Internet of Things study, 69 percent of consumers will own an in-home IoT device by 2019. Wearable fitness devices are expected to have a 43 percent increase in adoption within the next 5 years, according to the study.
Due to the rate at which people appear to be adopting these technologies, it is likely that connected devices will eventually become more sought after than isolated devices. The demand for developing products with connective capabilities is growing. As this trend becomes more prevalent, companies may have no choice but to make their products connected in order to stay competitive.
Among the themes at IoT World was the large number of exhibitors promising complete, modular, “smart” design solutions that marry a piece of hardware with a mobile API, SDK, and analytics. These solutions help make designing and manufacturing “smart” wearables relatively straightforward.
We found MbientLab’s offering to be among the most notable of these solutions. Their MetaWearplatform appears to have been designed with total ease of implementation in mind. It blends a modular, BLE-enabled board the size of a button with pre-loaded firmware, a mobile API and SDK, powerful embedded-development tools, and total sensor customization.
With the number of companies that offer complete solutions for “smart” device design steadily growing, it is likely that we will see widespread adoption of these platforms in products that have traditionally remained “disconnected”.
At Codal, we’re excited to become more involved in projects that delve more deeply into this growing trend.