By Adam Justice,
VP & General Manager,
It’s official: the Internet of Things (IoT) is the most hyped technology of 2014.
In August, analyst group Gartner released its 2014 Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies report, and IoT replaced big data at the top. The ability to connect and control smart devices remotely via the Internet will reach its final stage of maturity in just five to 10 years, according to Gartner’s analysts, much quicker than they imagined just a few short years ago.
Building on the growth of IoT in 2014, the new year will see even more explosive growth and innovation. Here are a few of my predictions for 2015:
#1: APPLE VS. GOOGLE: IT’S WAR.
The home automation space will see an all-out brawl between Apple HomeKit and Google/Nest for control of the home. Google and Nest will take Apple HomeKit on head-on, promoting their own solution for the application layer of home automation beyond the “Works with Nest” program. While the jury is still out about whether HomeKit will allow users to connect to Nest, I don’t see that Apple will provide native support for Nest.
Vice President and General Manager,
#2: INTEROPERABILITY IS ON THE HORIZON
True IoT standards will become a reality in 2015, allowing for interoperability between devices both in the home and commercial/industrial settings. In fact, we will see a rapid shift of not enough standards to over-saturation. At home, Apple HomeKit will make a big impact in 2015, allowing Apple-supported devices to talk to each other. In the commercial/industrial market, groups like the Industrial Internet Consortium will push through standards.
#3: THREAD WILL WEAVE IT’S WAY INTO DEVELOPER’S HEARTS
The Thread Group standard will ship in the second half of 2015 and will quickly be recognized as a wireless standard that is superior to ZigBee and Z-Wave for mesh networking. Thread is a solution for the network layer issues presented by IoT and something that can co-exist with application layer solutions like HomeKit, provided that Apple allows this. Thread will be both competitive and cooperative to existing technologies like WiFi, as it still requires a system node to have WiFi or Ethernet to connect to the Internet.
#4: THE CONNECTED CAR WILL BECOME MAINSTREAM
The connected car will finally gain traction with manufacturers shipping new and exciting features in 2016 models. Features like Apple CarPlay will be ballyhooed starting in January at CES and automobile shows. Consumers can expect that more cars will ship with an always-on Internet connections, which then will drive the desire for more infotainment apps in the car.
Finally, I’d like to add one item to my holiday wish list: for cellular carriers to expand their M2M initiatives, making it easier and more affordable for manufacturers to get devices onto the cellular network. Right now there are too many hoops to jump through to get devices approved on cellular networks, which is quashing innovation and progress. If carriers want to be competitive, they must find a way to open up their networks to allow more devices to connect, without the high cost and long process that currently exists.