The IoT is evolving progressively. Since technology revolution generally needs a considerable incubation period, it is obvious that IoT will also come to realization, but over a number of years.
When we talk about “Thing” in the IoT it can refer to a smartphone device, an animal with a microchip under the skin as a source of its identification, an automobile that has built-in sensors to alert the driver, or any other organic or man-made object which is capable of being assigned an IP address and being provided with the ability to transmit data over a network.
IoT is all about connected, smart devices/objects/animals that have been fitted with built-in sensors. If these sensors provide inputs to an expert system, then the expert systems could make decisions based on probabilities which could revolutionize the ways of interaction with the world at large.
Just as evolution is a slow and continuous process, Innovation too is not a rapid process. It is iterative and the IoT is created on this same cycle of Innovation. In the near future one can expect that infrastructure, manufacturing, homes, cars etc. will all be smartly connected. It will change the way we interact with our environment.
Matthew Michael, who is Qualcomm’s senior project manager for IoT, mentioned in an interview:
“So people are doing it and it is a reality. But, we all know that the experiences will be richer the more devices that I have. Most people do not go out and buy a smart, connected home at one time. I don’t go out and say, here is 10 to 15 devices. I want to have this experience and therefore I am going to buy these 10 things and bring them together. They will it a device at a time. From that perspective it will take a little bit of time and I expect that to accelerate as people start to understand what those experiences can be and what those devices are. I think the adoption curve will accelerate but I think that there will be that experience of adding one to two to three to four and five devices at a time.“
So it won’t be surprising if, one day we find that everything is connected and that transmission of data over the networks contributes to making lives more meaningful and comfortable than ever. One can expect a seamless rollout of the IoT over time.
The Initial turbulent Phase of the IoT
Similar to the Mobile Industry that has emerged over the years in the field of Technology, the IoT is gaining momentum but at a very slow pace. The fight for position has begun. It will be interesting to see market leaders such as Apple, Google, and Microsoft compete for the number 1 position in the Software layer of the IoT, Networking giants like Cisco connecting the IoT with the world, and multinational corporations such as Freescale and Thread ruling the nodes, portals and frameworks area. As all these components namely the software layer, network connectivity and the infrastructure and frameworks are the backbone of the IoT. But we can hope that battle this will lead to greater stability and growth of this subsector over the next decade.
What about IoT developers?
The developers are probably eagerly waiting to see what happens post the turbulent phase of IoT. There is slow acceptance from developers and coders and they are beginning to ultimately accept the IoT.
But in the meanwhile, developers need to be well equipped and begin development. They need to work on microcontroller technologies, embedded systems, machine-to-machine (M2M) devices, the software, programs for connecting devices, sensors, data, security, and infrastructure which are required for monitoring and management of the exponential packets of data that will be running across networks.
Thanks to today’s open source platforms that have helped in the gradual development of the IoT. There are a number of popular tools in the market developed by Microsoft, Samsung, Freescale, Thread and Qualcom that have contributed to the growth of the IoT and taken a step forward in connecting the world. For example Microsoft has developed an open framework – Connect-the-Dots to help connect multiple devices to Microsoft Azure.
While some developers may have already begun developing for connected devices, there will definitely be a rise in those numbers. Let us wait and watch which industry sector is likely to emerge as the most powerful one over the next few years……Will it be the IoT?