By Matt Larson
The Internet of Things (IoT) is one of those next-generation technology concepts that for a long time seemed just over the hill: everybody talked about it but it wasn’t quite here. I think it’s time to reconsider, because IoT is not only here, it’s growing fast. In 2014, Gartner predicted that by 2020 there would be 25 billion connected devices. Cisco predicted that number would be closer to 50 billion, and Morgan Stanley thinks 75 billion.
Before going further, we should agree on exactly what IoT means. More than once, I’ve heard someone use the idea, sometimes half jokingly, of a refrigerator connected to the Internet as the canonical prediction of inevitable network progress. Well, guess what – they already exist. The IoT concept simply applies to devices connected and networked together through the Internet. Sometimes IoT devices are everyday devices that become Internet-enabled, and sometimes they are completely new devices that only make sense in a connected environment. All of this is enabled by more and more computing power in smaller and smaller packages and near-ubiquitous wireless Internet.