A treatise on how to think about the IoT for fun and profit
“‘Connected’ is a more useful term than ‘the IoT’, in many ways. We should start using it properly. The Internet of Things is so much more than just an umbrella term, and we’re well past the point of no return.”
There have seen countless estimates of the size and growth of the IoT. All of these have been misleading, and now a few years removed from some of the most optimistic, we can see that the IoT hype-balloon has withered. The wider technology industry is now, slowly, waking up to the fact that the trend pitched as the answer to so many problems is actually quite problematic – an evolutionary rather than revolutionary panacea.
The main thesis is this: “the Internet of Things” is no longer a useful term, as it is no longer doing its job, as a catch-all umbrella term, properly anymore. The market has split into specific verticals, and as time goes on, there is less chance of a grand IoT unification. This trend is doomed to be split into islands, separate from each other – with the notion of a global hyper-connected data utopia now appearing rather quaint.
The second element of the argument is that we should begin discussing these verticals directly, because using “the Internet of Things” does not accurately discuss the industry-specific technologies and practices being used. To this end, referring to things as a “connected-X” is a better way of framing a discussion – such as ‘connected cars,’ ‘connected manufacturing lines,’ or ‘connected metering equipment.’ Those three are so different that the only real thing they have in common is an internet connection.
The third angle is that the high-level view of “the Internet of Things” is not useful from an analysis point of view, because very few people want or need such a view.
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