If “talk” is any indicator, 2016 may be the year the Internet of Things (“IoT”) breaks out. Check out this sample of recent headlines concerning the IoT:
- “IoT industry will explode in 2016, Gartner says”
- “IoT Devices Are Exploding On the Market”
- “Can You Handle the IoT Explosion?”
- “2016 could be the year for the Internet of Things”
- “The Explosion of the Internet of Things”
IoT is certainly no stranger to hype and media coverage (IoT has been the “most-hyped” technology of the past two years, according to the Gartner hype curve), especially right after a CES. However, there are a number of developments – tech and economic in nature – that could now be coming together to produce the tipping point in IoT that so many have seen coming.
Here then is a short, non-exhaustive list of what may be driving the IoT “explosion” coming in 2016:
- More IoT, sensor-driven devices: 5.5 million new devices will connect to the Internet of Things every day this year, according to Gartner (Source: NetworkWorld, “IoT industry will explode in 2016, Gartner says,” Nov. 24, 2015 by Patrick Nelson). And more and more, ” innovative, inventive startups [ ] are tapping into the power of sensor-enabled technology to create new products and services.” “Everything [ ] is now designed with sensors that collect data that’s used to deliver better customer outcomes.” (Source: Information Management, “IoT Devices Are Exploding On the Market,” Jan. 19, 2016 by Nigel Fenwick)
- More connectivity: IoT will only work and exist if and when connectivity is universally available. Enter HaLow, a next generation WiFi that, “promises to double the range of standard 2.4GHz Wi-Fi connections, while also doing a better job of penetrating walls, floors, and other obstacles that can make your Wi-Fi sputter and skulk.” (Source: Wired Magazine, “Next-Gen Wi-Fi Will Actually Connect the Internet of Things,” Jan 4, 2016 by Brian Barrett). With HaLow connectivity, smart, connected IoT devices running underground and in industrial settings should be able to communicate with one another and with the devices that run and monitor them.
- More power: In addition to connectivity, one other item is required to have an IoT ecosystem: power. While many are looking to advancements in battery technology to support the billions of IoT devices arriving annually, some are looking in a different direction altogether: wireless power. “[A] bevy of companies are working diligently to bring technologies to market that can transmit power at distance – upwards of 15 feet… [ ] three companies stand a reasonable chance of bringing an IoT solution to market anytime soon [ ]. Of the three, Energous is the closest. Not only has it already attracted a Tier 1 partner, rumored to be Samsung or possibly Apple, it’s only a few months away from having a commercially ready chipset to be incorporated into wearables, IoT, and mobile devices.” (Source: WallStreetDaily.com, “The Best Play on the Internet of Things Trend,” Dec 21, 2015 by Louis Basenese).
In short, this year we’re likely going to see the proliferation of IoT devices with more connectivity and more power options to drive them. As that momentum accelerates, IoT will grow exponentially and, as a result, 2016 could well turn out to be the year that IoT did in fact “explode,” as more and more consumers embrace it and more and more businesses find ways in which to harness the big data that those systems produce.