The End Of The Internet Of Things Can’t Come Soon Enough
“Today, I booted up, jacked in and went surfing on the information superhighway” is a phrase you probably haven’t heard for at least the last two decades in an unironic manner. The information superhighway — once the term to describe our digital, large-scale communications networks — feels so antiquated I can hear the haunting screech of an ancient 33.6k modem wailing as I write this.
In the technology hype cycle, the “trough of disillusionment” represents the point at which there are a number of high-profile failures (Juicero and numerous smart kettle disasters come to mind), and at the “plateau of productivity,” genuinely useful and exciting things that improve how we control our homes, workplaces, and factories emerge and are adopted.
We’re there now. It’s no longer quirky to see a Wi-Fi doorbell, and in many neighborhoods (like mine), you’re a little old-fashioned if you don’t share your porch pirate videos on social media. In the adoption of high connectivity, industry has been ahead of consumers for some time, with many companies having reaped the efficiency and operational benefits of their production assets pumping data to the cloud for years.
Yet this antiquated term keeps rearing its ugly head. The demise of the term the “Internet of Things” (IoT) can’t come quickly enough. It demarcates products that can communicate useful data as being somehow special. This concept has slid into normality without most of us noticing. A large percentage of us now have smart meters and don’t think twice about them (though they’re generally a missed opportunity, but that’s another story). And how many people do you know who would buy a phone without Wi-Fi? Discussing IoT is as informative as advertising a new car “with round wheels!”
In a recent webinar, Alfonso Velosa from Gartner hit the nail on the head, paraphrasing – “We’re all in IoT club, and the first rule is you don’t talk about IoT, you talk about business transformation.” For quite some time now, Amazon has been at the forefront of IoT — first with tragically amusing buttons that allowed you to order laundry detergent or beef jerky with the touch of a button and now with remote machine-condition devices that can find a home in your shopping cart alongside bleach and a hacksaw. Amazon makes and sells its own IoT devices, yet it’s revealing that IoT is only mentioned once in passing on the Amazon Monitron website. Amazon understands what sells — the company is selling business transformation. The modern definition of commoditization is when there’s an Amazon Basics version.
The Internet of Things is here, and while the various standards and implementations of how you send data have a long way to go (too many products relish any opportunity to send data from your internal network to mysterious destinations), interoperability and access to data are expected with almost all technology-dependent consumer and commercial equipment. The terminology served its purpose to fire imaginations around the world; now we’re reaping the rewards and have a vision of the bounty to come. The Internet of Things can rest forever. Like the information superhighway, it won’t be mourned.
This article originally appeared on forbes.com, to read the full article and see the images, click here.
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