Rapid growth in the “Internet of Things” space means two things. First, it means that everything we own will soon be Internet-connected. Second, it means that hackers will soon have access to everything we own, by virtue of it all being Internet-connected.
+Commentary: This is the sort of Listicle where ZDnet does its best to be Buzzfeed for nerds & hackers. Or your friendly neighborhood IT Director probably really is worried about this line of inquiry, but I’m not so sure that the 87% who don’t even understand IoT, let alone adopt it, even do. So let’s talk about what they won’t, shall we?
87% of people don’t understand this rapidly growing market. Do you?
Cisco estimates that the number of connected devices worldwide will rise from 15 billion today to 50 billion by 2020. Intel is even more bullish, claiming that over 200 billion devices will be connected by then.
…(continued) The first and biggest problem to the adoption of these new avenues of connectivity is the power & network situation. If the power goes out, or your network do any of these things work? Can you adjust your heat or a/c if your ISP fails? This is the sort of barrier we think about, and we’d not have even clicked on this link were we not in the middle of discussing it with UbranBohemian and just read his piece Life of Brian: Internet; and had our own internet outage the same day. In fact Amazon went down yesterday and the digital world collectively lost its mind.
The experience was simply terrifying on a grand scale, and Brian over at urbanbohemian has a far more connected house than we do. These all fall under the rubric of reliability. If even the early adopters don’t or can’t see a way any of this works without power/network connectivity, then you might want to solve that first, while concurrently trying to secure the data. The oversimplification for many working in this sector, and with the exuberance of day-traders like those quoted at Motley Fool, is to think this is a big huge sector that is about to explode in the next 4 years.
It probably is, but that shouldn’t rule out the fact it very well might be a bumpy ride. That above all of these things if your $600 smartphone becomes utterly useless when a hurricane hits, and with Global Warming we should expect them to with more regularity, so we might want to start talking about the global or national infrastructure for what an IoT future might look like.
Having worked during disaster relief, having written about how little progress was made between Sandy and 9/11 in New York, a bellwether for what the future will look like, and early adopter of all things tech. As connected a city as you can get with 8 Million residents & probably 100x that in connected devices. How the challenges that happen, aren’t usually the ones they plan or even prepare for, can flummox even the best intentions or plans.
That until the unthinkable happens, you don’t really know about these new economies. This is technological innovation, and will be a part of our future assuredly. The quantified self, sensors, and all the information and big data they bring. Even if we aren’t ready for it. They can be a boon for businesses of all sizes, from micro-to-enterprise, as they will give us data which can help make business decisions more informed.
Surprisingly when the internet problems happened over the past few days, what struck us was that it had been a while since any of the big names had felt the pinch. Maybe a few months, less than a year, but the fact that it stretched across many differing sites seemed to indicate, and we’ll wait for confirmation, that there was probably a cyber attack, or some facility that experienced an anomaly leading to a cascade effect.
This is the backbone of the internet, Amazon and its services, so if they can (and will) experience an outage occasionally, then we will all be at the mercy of these devices we spend so much time with, become so reliant on, and then find out in a connected-world what happens when you can’t connect?
There could or will be a “Can You Hear Me Now” type of movement or campaign as IoT ascends into the everyday experience. We will all know the frustration of these things we’d relied upon for essential services that will be left fallow when 40 minutes can be life-altering. Not perhaps life-and-death, though that is a possibility, but if in a minute on the internet in a world where there are 3x more conneced devices than humans, we can imagine a world that might not quite be ready for a revolution in the Internet of Things.
Some visualizations which can be multiplied by 40+ for you try to wrap your head around the scope:
These are dated 2013 or otherwise ambiguous, but we’ll use them as the ballpark figures they are intended to be. Even at that rate, forty minutes is a long time & a lot of money or interrupted transactions. Do you have a plan?