This post is also available in: עברית (Hebrew)
The Internet of Things (IoT) has already made tremendous inroads to ubiquity, and the trend is accelerating. There will be more than 50 billion connected devices as soon as 2020, according to estimates by Cisco. Similarly, IoT is predicted to have a $3.5 trillion impact on the global economy within the next five years. IoT is here, it’s here to stay, and it’s growing. But, and there’s always a but, there are still some issues that need to be resolved before universal adoption can become viable.
One of the major issues IoT will need to overcome is the chaotic nature of development at this stage. Take mobile platforms as an example. We have seen an incredible boon of creativity in mobile development as the standardised platforms allowed people to focus on their ideas, while building on top of existing infrastructure. Currently, developing IoT devices is both far more time consuming and expensive, as the groundwork has to be prepared each time as if from scratch. Developing an iOS app is estimated to cost an average of $27,463. Producing an IoT device can cost $2.5 million, and more.
Standardised development will also solve another glaring issue faced by IoT: interoperability and interconnectability. In four years consumers are expected to hold in their hands (and homes) more than 50 billion IoT devices. These consumers will want and expect these devices to work together, and not to struggle to force them to communicate.
The most important issue to solve, however, is security. In the early days, when the internet was just being designed, security was not the major concern. Because of this we are struggling to cope with the security nightmare of the modern net. For IoT devices this excuse will not hold. Many of the IoT devices coming out today are shown to be insecure to a fault time and time again. Be it a talking doll that can be accessed by a hacker, or a home entertainment system that shares personal information on its owner with whomever has found the way to break in. These are terrifying scenarios, and they are far from fiction. For IoT to be accepted by the public, and for these devices to do their jobs properly, security must be a paramount concern.