Ben Barjarin at Techpinions wrote an excellent article today about the Internet of Things and the proliferation of products sporting embeded sensors seen at this years Consumer Electronics Show. To my mind, the key passage is this:
What these examples show us is the true inevitability that sensors and microchips will be integrated into every day objects we use and provide us with valuable data without having to stick a separate object on us all the time to get that data. What is important to me is the data. And when everything I own which is electronic, and even a great many of things which are not, have sensors and microchips in them I no longer need to worry about wearing a separate object to gather this data.
When you look at it this way it is easy to do the math. How many beds are sold every year? How many golf clubs? How many Tennis rackets? How many soccer balls? How many basket balls? How many pairs of shoes? How many sets of clothes? How many home appliances? You get the picture.
Now, as wonderful as this future may seem few seem to address a critical part of this story. How will this data be managed, accessed, shared, and more importantly secured. What I suggest in this big picture view of the IOE industry is that it brings up massive challenges that will catch many off guard over the next few years. Security and data management being a big one. But also network capacity, spectrum, and a host of other infrastructure issues which are not ready to support the embedded Internet of everything.
One of my greatest frustrations with the majority of tech comentary these days is its blindness to the vast potential—and equally vast dangers—of ubiquitous connectivity and embeded sensors. Instead we get billions of pixels spilled babbling about watches that can show text messages. It’s sad really.