What’s Coming in 2016 IoT Devices?

It’s no secret that IoT, IoT devices and data are changing dramatically. Industry experts believe that 2016 is going to be a year of action and change as trends move forward dramatically. Technology changes are happening faster than many companies can react or adapt to them. Data Security, IoT Security, Cloud computing and mobile computing are where the top changes are expected to be.

MobileIron’s VP of strategy says that we can expect to see dramatic changes in every area of computing. Ojas Rege says “2016 will be a challenging year for IT devices as mobile and cloud force CIOs to adopt a more agile model of information security, policy design, technology evaluation, and lifecycle management,” “2015 saw more mobile malware than ever before, with a string of exploits such as Stagefright, KeyRaider, XcodeGhost, and YiSpecter. In 2016, we will see hackers continue to figure out clever ways to make apps appear “trusted,” Rege believes. “As a result, expect that Apple in particular will continue to shut down untrusted ways of distributing apps to devices, such as side-loading, and become much stricter about controlling the use of private APIs.”

Nearly every security specialist believes that two things will change in IoT in 2016 that are more important than any other. These two things will pave the way forward for IoT.

Customers are going to insist on better applications for use. Customers are insisting on applications that are proven secure, rather than put together in rapid and insecure ways.

In spite of all of the attention that it’s getting, the IoT is at this moment in time more experimental than end run perfection. Every vendor is striving for IoT perfection but some of them aren’t even sure what it is.

Companies are all seeking to ride the wave of IoT but many are not sure how to accomplish that and aren’t certain whether or not they are on the right pathway. Rege believes that by the end of 2016, companies are going to change how they view IoT and realize that it is not a game, but an imperative for any company that is going to move forward. He states that “A set of high-value IoT use cases will emerge, and vendors will enter 2017 with the ability to deliver commercially useful solutions.”

Rege believes—and most companies believe along with him, that Iot energy, security, and innovation are going to be necessary parts of the computing landscape in 2016. The enterprise requires developers of IoT to completely rethink the business and IoT processes rather than just porting apps to Iot platforms that are not secure and not worthwhile. The users of today are rapidly growing tired of hearing that their application or their IoT product has been found to be insecure. It has changed their trust in the products and will continue to do so in a way that will prevent them from using IoT devices that have not been proven to be secure.

Rapid changes in technology, user demands and methodology changes and the need for more secure IoT and mobile applications mean that companies are going to need talented developers and security personnel in IoT on a level not previously seen.

Where is your company so far as IoT development and what kind of plans have you made for the changing IoT landscape in 2016?

A Quick History of the Internet of Things

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How Did We Create Such a Rich Market?

Want to know how the “Internet of Things” became a thing at all? To do so, you must look back to the beginning: the birth of networking and the explosion of consumer technology.

The internet isn’t that old, so far as the world wide web. In 1974, the structure we know and love today was born. Just ten years later. that the first domain name system was introduced, allowing for easier networking. The first website actually came online in 1991. The “internet,” as a network of connected devices in consumer homes, was only proposed just a scant two years before that, yet it came crashing into our mainstream world.

In no time the internet took over. By 1995, multiple websites and systems came online. I remember watching crude bulletin board systems arise, then quickly be replaced by Geocities pages and early websites. The first business webpages actually came in the form of reproduced fliers, essentially scanned and put online to promote companies. All of these new ideas came from the imaginings of others that had taken place decades earlier.

The term “internet of things” or “IoT” is also not a new one. You can find references to it as far back as the idea of the Internet itself, but if you survey an IoT team, it is more than likely that few know this. The history, or at least the ideology, goes back a great deal further than most people know. This, of course, has ramifications on the marketplace, both in how older technology companies approach the space and how traditional product introduction processes operate.

Thinkers across history could be responsible for coining the term, depending on the story you read. Some point to Tesla and Edison as the first to lead connected objects. Others look at the literal applications by Tim Berners Lee and Mark Weiser, the latter of which famously created a water fountain synced to the activities of the NYSE. The founders of Nest could also make the list, one of the first truly non-computer connected objects.

Even the idealism and futurism of the 1950s and 1960s gave way to the Internet of Things thinking. Imagine a classic 60s technology ad, displaying the “home of the future.” Everything is connected and communicating, and people are never out of reach of their day-to-day technology.

Then, of course, is Kevin Ashton, a man who comes up when you Google “who came up with the Internet of Things.” Kevin is a frequent thinker in the space who is corrected attributed to a verifiable creation of the term, “Internet of Things.” Like most corporate lingo, the origin is likely impossible to pin down, but the idea that the term was born in a boardroom is not surprising. The leaders who would go on to actually take these objects to market in the 90s included “traditional” players like IBM and Sony.

The story is that, no matter what route you pick to decipher the past, the rise of Internet of Things thinking is ubiquitous. From the moment “networking” arrived into everyday life, people were thinking about how it would impact our world.

1998 itself is a turning point in many ways, when something changed. Apple returned to the market with the iMac, and the team that designed this platform would go on to design the iPhone and, most critical to IoT research, the iPod. Big name manufacturers that had for most of their development focused on the PC were now investing in everyday objects with connectivity and technological features. The smartphone era was planted, and with it would come the first real consumer-level IoT object based on existing computers.

The history of IoT is extraordinarily dense, and the reading of the history depends on who you ask. If you were to question a designer at IBM in the late 1980s, you would find ideas similar to what we now call IoT in constant use. However, if you ask an emerging startup from the early 2000s, you would find a wave of thinkers taking credit for the idea. The reality is somewhere in between: those who thought ahead about computers expected what we have today, billions of devices.

IoT has continued to grow and to evolve and projections are bright for this new methodology for using the internet. The future of IoT is now –with devices coming online every day. The world is reliant upon connected cars, connected medical devices and even connected homes.

Companies today are scrambling to get their own IoT systems online and moving and new recruits are being brought in every day to head up IoT systems in companies both large and small. How well do they know the history of the internet of things and exactly how broad it can be?

The Industrial Internet of Things

industrialiotThe world is constantly changing. The technology in a factory today is far different from what was there even a decade ago. Today, the industrial internet of things has already had an impact on how effectively a factory is run and how its equipment runs.

With a network of devices directly linked in the industrial internet of things, there are a few benefits. First, there is a local level of intelligence among these devices. Each can communicate with other items in the factory and help production to run more effectively. If there is a jam in machinery, a device connected to the internet of things can halt production around it. A message can be sent to maintenance to address the issue and there is less downtime and a reduction in product loss as a result.

Equipment have a shared API they use. This means they can continue to communicate in other ways also. Scanners can help you to keep track of the number of inventory being produced in seconds. You can also determine production times on specific products and have monthly data downloaded to a spreadsheet and review the statistics it includes.

Because of this, the industrial internet of things is allowing businesses to operate more effectively. There are fewer surprises on the production line and a factory can better utilize their resources in order to supercharge production and deliver better results. In fact, there are fewer limitations on the things you can do with this application.

In the future, the industrial internet of things will continue to evolve. New factory machines will be better equipped to handle the internet as part of operations and to ensure that data is been effortlessly mined. This will include new supply chain integration. In fact, with everything streamlined, we’ll find there are fewer production concerns that we encounter.

This doesn’t mean that there aren’t concerns to be had. On the internet, there are security concerns and vulnerabilities that need to be addressed. What happens if a malicious application installs or a disgruntled employee makes adjustments to the program? What solutions are there? If there is a global internet outage, how does that impact factory equipment and other items that are attached through the network that is running the industrial internet of things?

While there are some concerns, that doesn’t mean a company shouldn’t consider the industrial internet of things as a solution. However, they should take the time to understand the applications and software they are considering to ensure that it delivers the best results possible for their company.

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Big Growth in Data Security Provides Consultant Opportunities

By 2016, the worldwide data security market is expected to approach almost $90 Billion in total value. This means that security is big business, and it should be. Data security has become increasingly critical as businesses utilize increasingly complex technology. Likewise, businesses that are directly involved in technology, such as IoT startups, cloud service providers, and even internet service providers, all have a vested interest in maintaining the security of their data.

Three Core Influencers on the Security Market

Security as a concept

Security as a concept

There are three core areas of influence that are driving the key players in data security consulting. Market influencers, according to Gartner Research, include BYOD (Bring your own Device), big data, and the security threats themselves.

BYOD is changing the way that SMBs and enterprise clients think about security. In the past, security solutions could be rolled out and controlled across a limited number of devices that were usually owned and maintained by employers. Today, it is more common for executives and staff at all levels to bring their own devices, which can then connect to company applications and networks. This creates the challenge of implementing robust security policies and technologies that can cover a range of devices and access methods.

Increased connectivity has led to increasing levels of ‘big data’ in business. Considering all of the channels where data is collected, whether it be through software, customer interactions, or even data that comes from IoT connected devices, it is becoming critical that big data is not only collected, identified, and categorized, but that it is kept secure. Security in the future will be essential for protecting IP, trade sensitive information, and maintaining privacy.

Finally, the increasing number of security threats that are present, are reshaping the market, and will continue to do so in the future. In addition to the attacks and exploits that have been common in the past, data security consulting professionals now have new technologies where compromises must be patched and anticipated. IoT devices, SaaS solutions, and an increasingly widespread cloud adoption will be major factors that shape the needs of future data security.

Data Security Consulting: What is Hot?

Recent graduates, professionals looking for new opportunities, and even CIOs within existing organizations can anticipate the opportunities and needs, by identifying current roles and niches in the data security consulting market.

A data security role may be completely specialized, or in some cases, generalized and more leadership based, depending on the size of an organization.

Information security can be broken down into two main areas. These areas are hardware, and software. A data security consultant may be expected to have a wider understanding of their industry, but in reality they will only specialize in some key areas. This means that employers need to be specific about who they’re looking for and the technologies that they use. It also means that jobseekers need to be upfront about their expertise, or they may risk finding themselves in a position that is beyond their current skillset, which could lead to career impacting underperformance.

As a consultant, the role is to advise, develop, and implement change. This change is usually to address a problem that already exists. In the case of data security, this could mean that a security threat has already been identified, or it could be to mitigate possible threats with new technologies.

Consultants need superior application and network penetration skills. This means that they should be able to break down, and analyze the way that software works within any environment. This includes input and output channels. Networks need to be understood in the same way. The purpose of this knowledge, is to identify where risks exist, or where existing security breaches are occurring.

Software algorithms are known to provide false positives, so a consultant needs to be able to identify these, and should have skill in determining viable threats. This will help the consultant to allocate resources where they are most necessary, which can benefit their employer, financially.

Consultants should build an understanding of the technologies used by their employer. Whenever working on a contract, a consultant will deal with systems that they are unfamiliar with. Understanding the underlying technologies will be critical to implementing successful security solutions. This may require knowledge of cloud computing and infrastructure, IoT protocols and industry practices, or even specifics of networking or programming languages.

Successful consultants will be experts in risk management. This should not just include software and hardware, but also their employer’s strategy when it comes to risk management. Some companies are willing to accept higher levels of risk, while some have more stringent expectations. Understanding the culture of any particular company will be critical.

As Data Becomes More Important, Security Consulting Becomes a Necessity

It doesn’t matter whether a business processes EPS payments, collects consumer information for a large retail operation, or even if they’re dealing exclusively in cloud technology and the Internet of Things, the fact is that as long as they are collecting and storing data, they will need dedicated security professionals.

Protecting that data for commercial and privacy reasons, will best be achieved with the right candidates, who have the skills and experience to deal with security threats in the modern business landscape.

For more information about information security and the cyber treats faced today, visit the Gartner Research Security and Risk Management page. [http://www.gartner.com/technology/summits/na/security/]

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BYOD, IT Security, and The Internet of Things

byodiotsecurityLast year, the number of smartphones in the world hit a new record. Out of the 4.55 billion cell phone users worldwide, 1.75 billion of those were using smartphones. Users are rapidly switching to smartphones as these devices become more affordable, and as 3G and 4G networks are introduced into key markets, allowing faster than ever data transfer rates. For businesses, this increasing smartphone penetration has significant implications. As more businesses adopt BYOD (Bring your own Device), IT security professionals and CIO leaders will need to address the issues of security that are introduced as business data is taken on the road, and exposed to external networks.

How Does BYOD Impact IT Security?

Data security consultants, and anyone involved in information technology or management, will need to be clear on the risks that are introduced with BYOD.

A company that allows BYOD is able to receive great benefits from doing so. Systems that allow for users to bring their own devices mean that staff are able to use devices that are familiar to them, which can reduce training time and increase efficiency. At the same time, businesses can save significant amounts of money on IT procurement, because users are bringing their own cell phones, tablets, and even laptops, from home.

Even with these key advantages, there are some problem to overcome. The biggest challenge with BYOD, is security. A BYOD device would be almost worthless if it didn’t have sufficient access to a corporate network, so that a staff member can easily obtain the information and run the applications that they need to perform their jobs. This means opening up access to systems which would have previously been protected by closed networks accessed by in-house devices, with security enforced through strict and robust security policies.

Another challenge exists when employees leave a company. Because they take their devices with them, there needs to be a mechanism in place that prevents access from devices that are no longer associated with an authorized staff member. Compared to a model without BYOD, this adds another layer of security, and a number of process layers within the organizational structure of a business. Without addressing this type of situation, businesses would be putting themselves at significant risk.

Security Is Even More Important than Ever with IoT

The Internet of Things has been called the future of business, computing, and entertainment. Indeed, IoT covers all of these areas, whether you look at a smart TV, an internet capable MRI machine, or even the cloud services that deliver email, streaming video, or music, to devices that will work from anyplace where there is an internet connection.

IoT exists in complex industries, too. Consider a production line that utilizes networked sensors along the line, which then transmit data in real time between ordering systems, packing robots, and even dispatch centers, to coordinate logistics. Considering the data that is collected using IoT sensors, and then the possibilities there are to interface with this data by using BYOD devices, it becomes clear that a system utilizing IoT technologies and BYOD access policies, needs to be secured to the highest industry standards.

Security breaches could mean that an unauthorized party is able to gain access to production data or even sensitive manufacturing secrets, or that a previous employee is able to take data and learnings to a competitor, using their own device that was once legitimately authorized through BYOD policies.

Similar risks exist in any industry. If you are an IT data security consultant within a contact center business, you could be tasked with protecting CRM systems, billing information, payment gateways, and other critical systems. Sales reps, telephone agents, and remote staff could all be using BYOD devices to connect to a decentralized cloud solution. Ensuring that access control and other security measures are present, will be a core aspect of the solutions that you design and implement.

Who are The Big Players in IT Security Today?

You only need to look at the world’s largest information security consultancies to see that data security is a big business.

Deloitte, currently the biggest player in IT security, made over $2 billion in revenue from security consulting in 2014. Other leading companies are seeing similar growth, with all of the top five, including IBM and KPMG, seeing revenue growth in security consulting. All of the top five exceeded 5% growth between 2013 and 2014.

This means that not only is there a clear growing need for security consulting, but also that there will be an increased demand for IT security consultants who are experienced in the latest technologies, including cloud and IoT technologies. The demand has been partially spurred on by high profile data security breaches, especially those at government level.

Businesses and Professionals Should Prepare for a Growing Market

Not only do businesses need to assess and respond to their needs regarding BYOD, IT security, and overall risk management, but they will need to begin to seek the most qualified consultants to lead their security initiatives.

Likewise, qualified candidates who are entering the job market need to seek out the most promising opportunities. Such as those that exist with businesses where they will have the opportunity to demonstrate their expertise in new and emerging IT technologies.

Moving forward, the businesses and professionals who recognize the importance and opportunity within data security consultancy, will be the ones who benefit the most in the next five years, when both IoT and IT Security are expected to experience drastic market growth.

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Wearables – Continuous Growth in the Internet of Things

 

The Internet of Things encompasses a wide range of connected services, technologies, and hardware devices. For consumers, it is the growing number of portable and wearable devices that will be their main interface with IOT. The wearable device market is rapidly evolving, especially when it comes to smart watches and fitness monitoring devices.

As opportunities grow, the wearables dominating the market are also changing. What does this mean for those involved in the development, marketing, and sales of these IOT connected devices?ni36 NewIndustry - internet of things IoT - 16zu9 g3735

How Big is the Wearable Market in 2015?

International Data Corporation (IDC) has predicted that wearable device shipments in 2015 will rise to 173% of the total sales achieved in the previous financial year. This translates to over 72 million devices, including smartwatches and health trackers. This growth has been largely driven by high profile releases such as the Apple Watch in April of 2015, and also by widely publicized financial opportunities, Fitbit’s recent IPO being a prime example.

With the potential to move over 72 million units across the market, it is no surprise that leading technology companies like LG, Samsung, Sony, Microsoft, Apple, and Motorola are starting to increase their focus on wearable technology.

Future growth will be an incentive for further investment. IDC figures suggest that by 2019, global sales of wearables could exceed 150 million units.

Do these figures mean success for all involved in the wearable market? Not entirely.

Challenges for Businesses to Adapt

Although the overall market has grown, recent trends show that wearable fitness devices are losing out to increased smartwatch sales. Gartner’s latest research suggests that the dip could largely be associated with the increasing crossover in functionality between fitness devices and the latest smartwatches. 50 percent of those seeking a fitness wearable will end up choosing a smartwatch instead.

Fitness devices collect information relating to distance covered, physical location, and even heartrate. Smartwatches can now do most of the same. Combining a Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch with a phone like the Galaxy Note 4 or Galaxy S6 would provide users with GPS tracking, information on calories burnt, heart rate monitoring, and even blood oxygen levels. The technology is advancing year on year.

Because of this, companies like Fitbit and Nike, which are focused on fitness tracking, will need to lower prices to compete with integrated smartwatches. With screen and technology prices expected to drop in 2016, Gartner predicts that the fitness wearable market will be able to bounce back. By 2016 there could be as many as 19 wristband type devices for every 24 smartwatches sold.

Who are the Key Players in Wearables?

Fitbit, Jawbone, and Nike make up 97% of the wearable fitness device market. In smartwatch territory, it is Samsung and Apple that lead the market.

Fortune performed a survey of industry observers and found that the average prediction was for Apple to move 22.47 million smartwatches in 2015. Current estimates (June 2015) place Apple Watch sales at 2.79 million for the two months that it has been available. Compare this to Android Wear devices (Sony, Samsung, LG etc.) which have sold less than 800k since December, and it is clear that the allure of the Apple brand is as strong, if not stronger than ever.

Apple was relatively late to market, but they innovated with the digital crown (providing a more natural and familiar interface), haptic feedback to alert users of notifications, and a pressure sensitive touch display. It is rumored that Apple’s next iteration will include a high definition camera, which would be a first for wearable devices.

Whatever new innovations companies bring to market, they will be heavily reliant on technology from Qualcomm and Intel. Intel is already working in partnership with Google and Tag Heuer to develop the world’s first smartwatch/Swiss mechanical hybrid. Investors and anyone interested in the luxury product market will be eager to see this partnership develop.

Where is the Money in Wearables?

Even with staggering sales numbers, wearables are not in themselves a key revenue stream. Instead, it is the associated value that provides the biggest benefit to manufacturers.

Smartwatches, in particular, are seen as accessories. They are paired to smartphones and in turn can help to drive sales. They are also showpiece items. Even if Samsung, Apple, Sony etc. only manage to sell wearable technology to 10% of their smartphone customers (a speculative number), they will generate brand marketability, and logically would experience knock-on sales.

When it comes to companies like Nike, Fitbit, and Jawbone, the profit can come from connected services. Examples include subscription based exercise plans, analytics software, and in the case of Nike, a wearable can lead to increased apparel sales.

As with all IOT technology, the wearable device is only one part of the experience, and therefore only one part of the business model. It is the way in which data is collected, analyzed, and presented that provides the true value of any smart device. Smartwatches already have an advantage because they are highly integrated into their respective smartphone operating systems. Wearable fitness device companies have the opportunity to provide fitness tracking as a service, and must find new ways to monetize the service to generate direct revenue on top of initial hardware sales.

What does the Future Hold For Wearable Technology?

Over a billion smartphones were sold around the world in 2014. Global wearable sales make up less than 10% of that number. The challenge for manufacturers is to develop wearables that easily integrate with daily life, and these products should also be something that consumers want to use on a daily basis.

While wearables are high in consumer mindshare, they are relatively low in actual penetration. Smartwatches are now able to integrate a fitness device with a smart device in a way that is both compelling and practical, but is it enough? Those in the industry will need the best ideas, the best strategies, and the best talent to ensure that in-demand products are developed in line with business goals, and that they result in strong financial growth.

The Latest in Wearable Tech News

http://www.bna.com/wearable-tech-tool-b17179927671/ – Wearable Tech to Monitor Productivity

http://www.afr.com/technology/fitbit-shows-pull-of-wearable-tech-with-us732-million-ipo-20150618-ghrak1 – Fitbit’s IPO

http://www.intelligent-aerospace.com/articles/2015/06/accenture-and-airbus-deliver-wearable-technology-proof-of-concept-for-improving-airplane-cabin-assembly.html – Wearable Technology in Manufacturing

The Internet of Things is No Longer a Futuristic Concept

The Internet of Things is Already Here

Illustration with word cloud on internet of things in the car - complexity of IoT

Illustration with word cloud on internet of things in the car

When you read or hear about the Internet of Things (IoT), do you imagine that we’re not quite in an age where such a concept is able to be fully realized? Have you ever pointed towards the fragmentation in the market regarding devices and services, or even the complexity of IoT, and questioned how concepts like the connected home could be adopted on a widespread scale?

If you’re still questioning IoT at this point, then it’s possible that you’re simply not looking closely enough. Many of the products and services that you’re using are already a part of IoT.

Microsoft’s Office suite is a connected service on IoT, Apple’s ecosystem is IoT to the core, and even your late model vehicle is likely connected to IoT in some way. In the consumer world, IoT is simply the reality of all your devices being connected; from your game console, to your cellular phone, the computer in your office and on your coffee table, and even your automated home lighting, air conditioning, and garage door.

IoT as a concept was first described over 20 years ago by researchers at MIT. They spoke of a future where devices and sensors would collect and share data. There’s a reason why it is a buzzword today. Data capabilities, the decreasing cost of hardware, and the widespread adoption of the internet have made IoT possible for consumers, businesses, and large organizations across the world.

As a consumer, you’re probably already using IoT today. Your smartphone can connect to your home PC and control it remotely. You can set schedules for you Cable PVR and arrive home to your favorite programs already recorded and ready to play. You can even strap a smart device to your wrist while you jog, while also collecting data on your heart rate, the calories you’ve burnt, and even map a GLONASS or GPS tracked route of where you went.

You can then upload that data to the cloud and retrieve it later. You can share it with other people. You could even send the information to your personal trainer who can observe and advise around your exercise regime. This is what the Internet of Things is all about. For consumers, it’s all about the power of information.

IoT makes life easier. Progression has been gradual, and in many ways low key. This may be why many haven’t noticed it happening. When you used to collect your mail, there was one place where you could do it; your mailbox. Today, your mailbox is anywhere that you go, as long as you have a connected device. We used to bank inside buildings. ATM’s came later, and they increased the convenience. Today you can bank from a smartwatch. You can make payments with an NFC chip without swiping plastic. You can transfer your money from account to account from a Smartphone or PC.

The Internet of Things has provided countless advantages to society. From smarter automated manufacturing, to biometric implants in critical care patients, IoT does more than the average person knows. Perhaps the fact that we already use IoT without even knowing it, is testament to how important, influential, and firmly embedded IoT is in our lives today.

What is the Internet of Things Being Used for Today?

M2M sign

a businessman showing a signboard with the text M2M, for the machine to machine technologies, written in it

The internet of things might seem like a buzzword right now. With an estimated 26 billion devices projected to be connected by 2020, it is actually something that you need to take seriously. It is more than some hip term, it is the way of the future. In fact, today we are seeing the internet of things appearing in several industries.

Take for example, the use of the internet of things in medicine. In a hospital, devices are connected to pagers, computers and other devices so doctors and nurses can easily monitor the stats of a patient, regardless of where they are in the world. If there is an alert, such as a patient coding, healthcare professionals are alerted at once.

Major cities are even incorporating the internet of things into how they handle their parking. In city parking garages, the IoT helps drivers know how many free spaces are available on each level. These sensors help drivers to locate spaces easier and help the garage to determine when they are filled to capacity. This is incredibly useful when a major sporting event or concert is going on.

Cities are also using the internet of things to help them to better maintain roads. Sensors located on roadways monitor the normal flow of traffic at a given time. In areas where traffic is heavier than others, these devices transmit counts to a central system. The city then can plan maintenance for these areas and increase lanes, based on the statistics these devices transmit.

Another way the internet of things is being used today is in your car. Some car insurance companies now have devices you can plug into your vehicle. This device monitors the speed you are going, braking habits and even how loud your radio is. This information is sent over the internet to the provider. Based on the transmitted data, the provider determines if you are eligible for good driving discounts. Of course, this is a double-edged sword. Those who drive erratically may also face higher rates based on the transmissions from this device.

As you can see, the internet of things is becoming an important part of our world. Every year, new industries are rolling out new technologies that incorporate, or take advantage of IoT. Before long, our world will be universally connected and our devices will be far more powerful than they are today.

The History of IoT

Internet of things vector illustration flat design IoTThe internet isn’t that old, so far as the world wide web. In 1974, the TCIP/IP structure that we know today had it’s birth. It was not until ten years later that the first domain name system or DNS was introduced. The first website actually came online in 1991. The internet that he had proposed just a scant two years earlier came crashing into our mainstream world. It was a technological awakening that had been a long time coming.

In no time the internet took over. By 1995, multiple websites and systems came online. Entertainment by means of bulletin board systems began to be seen. All of it came from the imaginings of others that had taken place decades earlier.

The term “internet of things” or “IoT” is also not a new one. It’s frequently used and has been so for years, but in a survey it was revealed that even those who work in it every day are not at all conversant with the history of the IoT. That history or at least the ideology goes back a great deal further than most people know.

The first look at the internet of things arguably came from Nicola Tesla in 1926 when he commented in Collier’s “When wireless”* is perfectly applied the whole earth will be converted into a huge brain, which in fact it is, all things being particles of a real and rhythmic whole………and the instruments through which we shall be able to do this will be amazingly simple compared with our present telephone. A man will be able to carry one in his vest pocket.” It was a comment that got him laughed at in some circles, but one which was remarkably accurate considering the state of computing at that time.

In 1998, Google incorporated and too, in 1998, inTouch a project that was developed at MIT was put into play by Scott Brave and Professor Hiroshi Ishii who announced “….We then present inTouch, which applies Synchronized Distributed Physical Objects to create a “tangible telephone” for long distance haptic communication.”

In 1998, the real IoT was touched by Mark Weiser, who developed a water fountain that was amazing and delightful to everyone who saw it. It rose and fell respectively according to the pricing trends and the volume of stock on the NYSE.

1999 saw the term Internet of Things spoken by Kevin Ashton who was the then executive director for the Auto-ID Center. “I could be wrong, but I’m fairly sure the phrase “Internet of Things” started life as the title of a presentation I made at Procter & Gamble (P&G) in 1999. Linking the new idea of RFID in P&G’s supply chain to the then-red-hot topic of the Internet was more than just a good way to get executive attention.

Business Week in 1999 was the scene of the next big announcement about the term Internet of Things. 1999 – Neil Gross, speaking to Business Week commented, “In the next century, planet earth will don an electronic skin. It will use the Internet as a scaffold to support and transmit its sensations. This skin is already being stitched together. It consists of millions of embedded electronic measuring devices: thermostats, pressure gauges, pollution detectors, cameras, microphones, glucose sensors, EKG’s, electroencephalographs. These will probe and monitor cities and endangered species, the atmosphere, our ships, highways and fleets of trucks, our conversations, our bodies–even our dreams.”

IoT has continued to grow and to evolve and projections are bright for this new methodology for using the internet. The future of IoT is now –with devices coming online every day. The world is reliant upon connected cars, connected medical devices and even connected homes.

Companies today are scrambling to get their own IoT systems online and moving, and new recruits are being brought in every day to head up IoT systems in companies from small to large.

How does your company use IoT? Where are you going with it?

Why Should Companies Care about IoT Services?

Smart phone with Internet of things (IoT) word and objects icon connecting together,Internet networking concept.

Smart phone with Internet of things (IoT) - IoT ServicesAs with any new technology, businesses will need to find quantifiable benefits in the Internet of Things before the concept is embraced and implemented. It could be argued that IoT is already being adopted on a wide scale. Companies like Microsoft, Amazon, Qualcomm, IBM, and others already see IoT as a core part of their businesses. Even so, there are still some, especially small to medium sized businesses, that are weighing up the costs and benefits of ultra-connectivity in the world of IoT.

You don’t have to dig deep to see why IoT is important. Business Insider research division BI Intelligence has predicted that IoT will become the largest device market in the world over the next five years. Most analysts predict market value will reach in to the trillions, with possibly $7 trillion of total value by 2020. These figures are promising for businesses directly involved in the manufacture and design of IoT services and hardware, but what about the companies that will purchase these technologies to incorporate into operations?

Perhaps the single largest benefit will be in how IoT can lower costs. The manufacturing sector provides an ideal case scenario. Machine to Machine (M2M) systems will allow for machinery to become more efficient, and more autonomous. Take a production line that was previously labor intensive. Sensors relying on IoT can receive orders, initiate fabrication, sign off work orders, and even package products using IoT, and with little human interaction. Even non-automated manufacturing will benefit. Orders can be taken from anywhere in the world, transferred through the cloud, and delivered to remote manufacturing facilities. These systems can collect valuable analytics that can benefit accounting, inventory management, and even resource procurement.

While this type of IoT will directly benefit businesses in manufacturing, it will also create new opportunities for project managers, engineers, and IT professionals who will be necessary in designing, implementing, and supporting these systems.

Because IoT provides immediate data collection, businesses in all industries will benefit from improved decision making. Being able to analyze and distribute intelligence faster means that tedious data collection will be a thing of the past. Decisions can be made faster, and in some cases can be automated. What this means in essence; is better decisions based on better data.

Hong Kong International Airport, and other mega-airports around the world rely on RFID technology to track luggage and freight throughout their sites. This enables luggage to be delivered by machine to the correct gate, the correct passenger carousel, or to the correct airliner, train, or delivery vehicle. Items are tracked via computer, and managed from a central control point. This reduces hands on management and labor costs. HKIA spent $50 million to develop the initial infrastructure, but widespread adoption of this IoT based technology could save the industry $760 million per year, according to the International Air Transport Association.

Imagine how a similar system could benefit a SMB. Goods delivery could be RFID or barcode tracked on handheld scanners. This tracking information could be uploaded to a cloud solution, from where dispatchers, couriers, and clients could track the location and progress of a delivery. These are the kind of innovations that are driving IoT, and making it a necessary technology in a market where cost and efficiency is key, and where end users and consumers demand constant, easily accessible information.

The opportunities are there for businesses who adopt IoT today. The benefits exist whether they seek to improve manufacturing efficiency, streamline logistics processes, or even provide new ways for customers to interact and receive information. In the growing world of IoT, the question is not why should we care, but is rather, can you afford not to?