The Internet of Things is here to stay, and with ever-growing predictions about the number of items that will be connected in the next decade, analysts are looking to figure out how IoT is going to change mankind's future. After looking at the information and guesses that are out there, here are five predictions I believe are solid about the future of the Internet of Things.
1. The Internet of Things Will Look Completely Different
If you were to look at a browser or instant messenger program from the early days of the Internet, you would barely recognize it today. Similarly, as a platform is settled on for the Internet of Things, and more devices hit the market with their unique approaches and business models, the industry is going to take on a new look.
2. The Internet of Things Will Provide More Value
Right now, the IoT is really just a catch phrase for a new and interesting technology option. In the next five years, the true value, beyond smartphone games and fitness trackers, will be realized. Consider, as an example, Kroger's use of IoT technology to limit waste in the frozen food aisle, as reported by Tom Kaneshige. If used properly, the connected kitchen in the home and food service industries will lead to as much as 15 percent savings by limiting losses.
3. IoT Application Mindshare Will Be the Next Battlefield
Cisco warns that the battlefield for developers is not going to be the creation of apps, but rather the mindshare of those apps. Today, millions of cool apps are available and used by smartphone users, but as more things get connected, some of which can only handle a handful of apps, getting businesses and consumers to value a development is going to be crucial, and this is where developers will find their fight.
4. The Internet of Things Will Change the Way We Drive
Distracted driving is a problem, but the Internet of Things may change that. Adding connected technology in the vehicle will make it less tempting to grab the phone, and connected vehicles are going to be a normal thing in the next five years. In fact, Gartner predicts one out of every five vehicles, or 250 million total, will be connected vehicles by 2020.
This has the potential not just to limit distracted driving and make the driving experience more enjoyable, but it also may expand alternatives to car ownership, like car sharing in major urban areas. The connected technology would allow for multiple users and easier tracking of use.
5. The IoT Will Stop Being a “Thing”
How many times in the past week have you said, “I am getting on to the World Wide Web?” Chances are, not very many. How many times have you thought about the wonder of switching on a switch and having light instantly? Probably never. Soon, the Internet of Things, and connectivity in general, is going to be so common place, we also won't think about it. It will just be part of life and the benefits and technology that wow us right now will cease to be memorable.
Let me know your thoughts below…