The IoT Is Confusing — and Increasingly Central to Our Lives

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    The Internet of Things: Just a Fad or Worth the Buzz?

    Two news items were released in the past couple of days that seem to contradict each other. Or, perhaps, they don’t.

    The first is that Verizon thinks that the Internet of Things (IoT) is here. The company released a report that suggested that the IoT is a significant business driver. It cited the “confluence of five macrotrends” to justify the statement.

    The company kept it general. It said that the IoT is leading consumers to expect more from their smartphones and companies to expect data monetization. The study also says that the regulatory environment is helping “to bring the right ecosystem partners together” to accelerate creation of standards. A fourth point is that technology, including low-power networks and devices, is evolving in a way that supports the IoT. And, finally, security experts are keeping up with developments and protecting the IoT.

    Right off the bat, it is reasonable to express serious doubts about the last point. The IoT is not secure. More generally, these trends are a tad esoteric – and perhaps purposely so. Big trends are harder to spot, but very important in the arc of progress. The question, though, is how this inevitability is being felt in the real world. 

    The other piece of information that was posted this week is a finding of a study from Accenture, which contacted 28,000 consumers in 28 countries. The firm found that 64 percent are having trouble using IoT devices. The report is broad and the story doesn’t go into great detail, but the bottom line is clear: The IoT, and the smart devices that use the data, is confusing folks either through poor user interfaces or a surfeit of information.

    Internet of Things

    The two reports are not directly contradictory, of course. One says that the IoT is burrowing its way into the way in which business is done. The other says that the ways in which the IoT touches the lives of consumers have not fully evolved. Neither is controversial.

    As time goes by, the IoT will continue to be a bigger factor in corporate and people’s lives. For instance, ITWorld Canada reported today that Rogers Communications is working with blueRover to add to the IoT services that it offers to the oil and gas and food industries. It is part of Rogers’ overall strategy:

    The move is part of a wider push by the company to eventually offer a complete range of IoT services across multiple sectors, including retail and manufacturing, Ignacio Paz, Rogers’ general manager of IoT, told sister publication

    At some point, the two points – on one hand, that the IoT and the services it brings can lead to confusion and, on the other, that the use of IoT will grow radically – will converge. The IoT will blend in, everywhere.

    Carl Weinschenk covers telecom for IT Business Edge. He writes about wireless technology, disaster recovery/business continuity, cellular services, the Internet of Things, machine-to-machine communications and other emerging technologies and platforms. He also covers net neutrality and related regulatory issues. Weinschenk has written about the phone companies, cable operators and related companies for decades and is senior editor of Broadband Technology Report. He can be reached at and via twitter at @DailyMusicBrk.

    Carl Weinschenk
    Carl Weinschenk
    Carl Weinschenk Carl Weinschenk Carl Weinschenk is a long-time IT and telecom journalist. His coverage areas include the IoT, artificial intelligence, artificial intelligence, drones, 3D printing LTE and 5G, SDN, NFV, net neutrality, municipal broadband, unified communications and business continuity/disaster recovery. Weinschenk has written about wireless and phone companies, cable operators and their vendor ecosystems. He also has written about alternative energy and runs a website, The Daily Music Break, as a hobby.

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