Opportunities beyond the IoT hype

Writing for the EnergyHarvestingJournal, IDTechEx CEO Raghu Das confirms the Internet of Things (IoT) will provide significant value to business and consumers – if corporations are capable of addressing real world problems.

“In the industry, suppliers need to identify problems that the IoT can address – many of which are being addressed as ‘closed loop’ solutions using specific wireless hardware,” Das explains.

“Payback here can be very fast, from locating things and utilizing them more effectively to improving security and safety. Most implementations exist in islands of automation and the next step – if the problem requires it – is to join some of these systems up.”

Similarly, home automation is a strong contender for the IoT suppliers, with governments across the globe rolling out various smart metering platforms.

“It is here that IDTechEx see exciting prospects for the IoT – providing new services and connectivity for consumers. The models need to be thought through – consumers want things for free – with payment coming from other means, such as data use, advertising or consumer data,” he says.

Last, but certainly not least, Das recommends that companies leverage existing hardware such as smartphones to do more useful things – based on new applications – such as indoor positioning systems connected to other hardware platforms, including real time locating systems.

“[Companies can] offer new services to consumers they do not yet know they want. [This is] the biggest opportunity, but challenging to do and involves creative new business models, probably where the service is ‘free’ but paid for in kind by consumer data,” he adds.

In related IoT news, the UK government recently decided to spend an extra £45m on developing Internet of Things (IoT) technology. The pledge, made by British Prime Minister David Cameron, more than doubles the amount of IoT-related funds currently available to UK tech firms.

“I see the internet of things as a huge transformative development,” British Prime Minister David Cameron recently told CeBIT attendees in Germany in a statement quoted by the BBC.

“[It is] a way of boosting productivity, of keeping us healthier, making transport more efficient, reducing energy needs [and] tackling climate change.”

As we’ve previously discussed on Bits & Pieces, the IoT is essentially a combination of multiple market segments, tens of thousands of OEMs and hundreds of thousands of products.

“It is seen by many as the next wave of dramatic market growth for semiconductors. If you look at the different estimates made by market analysts, the IoT market will be worth trillions of dollars to a variety of industries from the consumer to financial, industrial, white goods and other market segments,” Dr. Reza Kazerounian, Senior VP and GM of the Microcontroller Business Unit at Atmel told EEWeb earlier this month.

“Companies that provide cloud-based services, service providers and semiconductor companies will also benefit from this market. The number of small or new companies that are showcasing connective devices has increased – there will be 50 billion connected devices by 2020. These nodes will have characteristics such as low-power embedded processing, a human-machine interface and connectivity.”

Interested in learning more about the IoT? You can check out previous Bits & Pieces articles on the subject here.

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