With so many optimistic predictions about IoT is not surprising that companies large, medium and small are rowdy and excited to see which part of this big cake can take.
I see that it is producing an increasingly clear divergence between the end consumer-targeted applications and applications for the industrial sector. In case of smart cities / Public sector they will have to deal with both unfortunately.
In the IoT for Consumers objects will be smart and social. The Cloud will make the objects also smarter. The ideas are not new, see for instance the examples in this article of BBC from June 2011. “BBC: Internet of things blurs the line between bits and atoms”, but the Greyhounds are preparing for the race.
Who will be the Greyhounds? No too much risk if we include the usual suspects. Clearly in the main race of the IoT for consumers, I am convinced that we would find ,preparing to win, in all Labs of companies like Facebook, Twitter, Google, Apple, Microsoft or Samsung teams that are developing prototypes of devices, gadgets, cloud platforms and software to continue monetizing its current business with the smart and social objects .
In this group we also find multitude of startups who dream to be the next Google, Facebook or Twitter, others wanting to hit with their research / prototypes and be bought by one of these Giants and many others will continue trying it in the next wave. Nothing new. It’s Groundhog Day.
There are other companies that also want to play in this race for consumer’s objects, beside of course the Open Source friends, universities, etc.
Now for companies to invest in this succulent market some questions and decisions they need to take are:
Should we invest in develop solutions for new Open Source OS for the Internet of Things like “Contiki” or continue with the investment we made in propietary OS waiting for updates or improvements for the Internet of the Objects ?
Should we connect the objects to the Amazon, Microsoft, Google, Apple,.. private cloud in spite they do not have a clear roadmap in their clouds to optimize the IoT applications or should we connect to clouds vendors that are emerging as IoT enablers and are showing up at trade shows, partnering with M2M application platform and device vendors like Xively , http://www.evrythng.com/, Cumulocity,..
The consumer market had been always different to the business market and it happens also in the IoT. The future of IoT for consumers must be open, intuitive and easy to use and monitor, with business models where consumers can use it for free (advertisement or cost reduction of processes translated to consumers) but also open to pay for premium services, where public and private cloud companies maintain and exchange data with the maximum confidentiality and privacy,
The ecosystem of the IoT for consumers must collaborate to guarantee “everything” that can be connected will be connected. Not sure when these big changes will start (2015 ?), but without these commitments all analyst predictions will fail and we will have to settle for sci-fi movies to see how it could be our beautiful future of Online Social Things.
The big issue for IoO for consumers is, as you can imagine, that we will find all kind of incompatibilities, alliances (Apple and Twitter, Microsoft and Apple), and wars (Google and MSFT or Google and Samsung), among the companies that better not to dream that your fridge from vendor A using Cloud A can talk with your wearable gadgets from vendor B using Cloud B and that these objects can interact with your friends objects of vendor C Cloud C and your smartphone was connected will all of them. In other words for “the Internet of the Things for Consumers” the consumer will be only a Thing.
These are some of the post I use in this article, so you can read and get your own conclusions:
Facebook ponders its place in the Internet of Things,
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