The Internet of Things (IoT) is an exciting world of technological developments that’s poised to change the way humans and machines interact on a daily basis. But despite being a hot topic for both technology enthusiasts and enterprises, in the grand scheme of “things,” it’s still in the conceptual stage.
Recently, as I worked on some IoT initiatives, including NTT DATA’s Proximity Beacon Framework, I realized there are quite a few issues that need to be addressed when designing IoT solutions.
One reason many individuals and companies don’t fully understand the benefits of IoT is the lack of a value proposition in many IoT endeavors. The Nest thermostat manages a home’s energy settings and can improve over time by studying user behavior, saving money for the user and creating a clear value proposition.
Conversely, managing your sleep patterns by connecting your coffee mug to the Internet to identify coffee-drinking patterns sounds intriguing but is more a novelty than anything else.
This diversity in IoT’s utility value is causing a disinclination to fully embrace and comprehend “things.” When designing an IoT solution, be sure to keep the technology useful—its value proposition must be measurable throughout the prototyping stage.
Every device on the Internet is vulnerable, making security a critical IoT issue. Because IoT devices can collect volumes of data in short periods, data aggregation is a major IoT strength. But without regulation or governance on data collection, the potential to misuse information is high, stymying consumer adoption from fear of exploitation. IoT security is a complex problem, but one that must be addressed to prevent it from inhibiting innovation and progress.
Lack of centralized platform
Developers are the driving force behind any technology revolution, but there’s a large amount of defragmentation in the IoT ecosystem. Much of the network is proprietary and suffers from not having a centralized platform or standards. The average cost to develop a commercial mobile application is $25,000 to $60,000; it’s more like $2 million to $3 million to develop a commercial IoT device.
The only way to bring those costs down is for the major IoT players to unite and adhere to one common industry standard. This would enable devices to talk to each other and share data, regardless of brand. Development costs would drop dramatically, opening the way for meaningful innovation, integration, and clear value propositions.