The internet of things has made incredible leaps and bounds in recent years. 2016 was no exception with most of the hype we’ve been hearing
coming to fruition. In fact, the general population actively discovered this amazing trend and while there were a few bumps in the road, 2016
proved we are still in a golden era.

A great example can be found in the homes of millions. Thanks to devices like the Amazon Echo, more people have embraced the IoT on a consumer
level. This has shown that while some concerns are out there among people, it is possible to win over the consumer and to create a
multifunctioning device that is successful. We now can control all aspects of our home from a single unit so lights can be switched on,
television systems recorded, and even thermostats adjusted even if we are on the other side of the world.

We also learned what we can expect when a cyberattack happens on a grand scale. Yes, the September 2016 cyber-attack that slammed Netflix,
Twitter, and other major players allowed us to recognize the importance of cybersecurity and put it at the forefront of the connected devices
that we use. Fortunately, nothing of serious consequence was experienced during this attack and the online world appears to have recovered.

In a sense, even the concerns with cyber-attacks are not enough to sway the investors who have helped IoT stocks to experience new highs. On the
NASDAQ alone, there was a major surge in Industry 4.0 stocks including the likes of Sierra Wireless and PTC who are often viewed as the
frontrunners when people talk about the internet of things.

Because 2017 is expected to be an even bigger year, we saw some legal changes to how the IoT can work. No data coming from devices that are
potentially used by children can be mined for data. If a security breach is experienced, it must be reported at once. Also, users must give
their consent to have data mined, and have the option to object to it if they desire to do so.
Even with all those restrictions in place, this should still be an incredible year for both the average consumer, and those producing connected
devices.

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