The IoT Convergence Is Coming
Sean McGowanNovember 07th, 20184 minute read
Sean is a technical researcher & writer at Codal, authoring blog posts on topics ranging from UX design to the Internet of Things. Working alongside developers, designers, and marketers, Sean helps support the writing team to ensure Codal produces engaging web content of the highest quality. When not writing about the latest innovations in app design, Sean can be found cooking, watching old movies, or complaining about the shortcomings of his favorite Philadelphia sports teams.
By now, we all know how the Internet of Things is supposed to work. In theory, the devices we’ve imbued with Internet connectivity form a network with each other—you can control your thermostat with your smartphone, which in turn connects with your smart TV, your smart fridge, your smartwatch.
The result is your technology converging to become greater than the sum of its parts. The synchronization of your devices means a freer exchange of your data and information within your network, which ideally leads to improved functionality and a better user experience.
That’s ostensibly how it’s supposed to work, on paper.
But in reality, our personal IoT, our own interconnected digital organism, is much more fractured. People aren’t connecting their thermostat with their Google Home with their smart TV with their smartwatch—a significant majority of users don’t even have all of these devices.
The much more common scenario: people dipping their toe into the waters and using just one (maybe two) IoT devices. That’s all well and good, but it fails to capitalize on the full interconnectivity IoT has to offer.
So what gives? Why aren’t we using the power of IoT to its full potential? And is it going to change in the future?
The State of IoT
This isn’t to say we haven’t recognized the power of IoT devices or had severe qualms about introducing it into our lives. According to a survey conducted by Clutch, well over half of people (sixty-seven percent) have some form of IoT technology in their homes.
This makes the smart home appliance one of the most popular IoT devices out there, with wearables like the iWatch and digital; assistants like Alexa not far behind.
Mirroring this is the considerable percentage of people who use these highly connected devices at least once a day, every day (sixty-four percent). And, if we’re citing statistics, I have to mention my favorite potential indicator of IoT’s continued rise: the nosediving rate of parents naming their children ‘Alexa’.
Why The Hold-Up?
And yet despite the research revealing a notable adoption of IoT devices, people are still hesitant to dive headfirst into a personal digital ecosystem. The same Clutch survey reported that a majority of participants weren’t planning on purchasing an IoT device within the year.
So for most, it seems that one smart device is enough, even if they’re leaving much of what makes IoT so powerful on the table. Looking to identify the cause of this, participants were asked what was stopping them from embracing a full IoT lifestyle. One surprising reason: consumers don’t feel like they need them.
In fact, almost two-thirds reported they didn’t require IoT tech to accomplish their day-to-day activities—a stark contrast to the smartphone, a device most people would claim they can’t live without. Despite its obvious utility, IoT is still nascent and thus remains in the early-adopter stage with many consumers. In fact, many may not be aware of its full potential.
And as a result, owners of two or more IoT devices aren’t connecting them. From the Clutch findings report: “Less than 10% of people connect their IoT devices to another connected device, opting to connect devices they are more comfortable using: smartphones, tablets, and computers.”
That percentage might be higher—if ‘connecting to networks’ wasn’t the most common issue users cited when asked about their frustrations with IoT technology.
So how is this remedied? We’ve been told the Internet of Things is the future, and we’ve seen it begin to permeate our everyday lives, but what’s stopping it from the public fully embracing it?
While the larger public’s current stance on IoT technologies is a mixed bag, experts believe the adoption is trending upward, especially when the cost benefits start actualizing.
Over time, IoT manufacturers and digital innovators will not only bolster these benefits but also create new products that offer more direct, obvious value to customers that interconnect them.
So if you’re worried about a reticent adoption of Internet of Things, don’t fret. In fact, now may be the perfect time for you or your company to start investing in IoT technologies. A great start is reaching out to innovative software development agencies like Codal, who specialize in the IoT. You haven’t missed the boat on the Internet of Things—it’s just getting started.