Trillion through the letter T: A word about the Internet of things
The Internet of Things is still relevant. IoT is one of those technologies that is constantly over the horizon, five years out of almost 20 years before it. And despite the fact that many companies have built a significant “IoT” business, the big prospect still seems far away.
A few years ago we wrote about what a mess of IoT, in this part we have indicated that there will never be one thing that we could point to and say that this is an IoT other than the regular Internet. Therefore, we are sympathetic to how many people suffer from Internet of Things fatigue. Many things become connected and we don’t see any significant changes in the world. But that doesn’t mean IoT won’t matter.
Guest Author Jonathan Goldberg is the founder of D2D Advisory, a multifunctional consulting firm. Jonathan has developed growth strategies and alliances for mobile, networking, gaming and software companies.
Having lived in the world of the Internet of Things for many years, we firmly believe that there are two things that mean that the Internet of Things will make a big difference in what we are just beginning to understand.
First, it will take longer for the IoT to emerge than people actually thought. Build a new phone and it will be connected, but how do we connect things that aren’t new anymore?
Upgrading is tedious and expensive, and only happens for a small set of devices. This means that things like washing machines, light switches and vending machines will only be connected when they are replaced. Washing machines can last twenty years, and we have light switches in our house that date back to the electrification of the house. As we said, it’s messy and gradual, but it’s definitely happening.
The second factor is that the IoT is much bigger than people think. The internet is full of predictions of 50 billion connected things, or 200 billion. These numbers are large and uninteresting. Most of the things included in these projections are electronics: computers, phones, cameras, etc. These things don’t need the brand new Internet to connect and are part of the gradual growth of the IoT we live in. potential for things that are not electronic, that may not even be electrical or powered.
The market for letters and parcels is about 90 billion, tools about 100 billion, bottles and cans another 500 billion. And these figures are PER YEAR. The world is flooded with things and objects. Many of them may find it useful to be able to connect to the Internet. We could find them, track their usage, find new ways to share them.
Simply put, if we could connect them, then we could apply software tools to them, and we should all know that this can be incredibly useful. The real IoT market will be measured in trillions, not billions.
Here the problem is not so much in the time of implementation, but in the economy. To put it all together, you need very cheap components, very cheap. We were inspired to write this article by this report on invention $0.01 plastic, flexible processors.
We will also need ways to connect these things, Wiliot is currently selling batteryless bluetooth tags, and someday they will also be priced in cents. We will also need a communication network, and this is also under construction. Simply put, the idea of connecting all this today is close, almost tangible.
As we have said, the combination of all these things has enormous economic and social value. Improved ways to search for recyclable materials, wider sharing of information through more location information, real-time usage data. The list goes on. However, it also comes with significant risks. All of these Apple AirTags are being used to track ex-spouses, not to mention the massive surveillance networks being built in places like China (the main use case for IoT is Smart Cities).
As with all new technologies, we will have to develop ways to use this potential, because it is already very close.