From Telemetry to Wearable Wednesdays: Q&A with Daniel Obodovski
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this technology is now being realized?
DO: Part of the reason we named our book “The Silent Intelligence” is that we believe the revolution is well underway—it’s just not obvious. It’s happening silently.
A majority of U.S. households have “smart” electric meters that are connected to a data network. Parking meters are increasingly becoming connected. Since last year, most new cars leaving a manufacturing plant are equipped with an LTE-module. Most vehicle fleets have some type of tracking device. Almost 10 percent of the U.S. population has some type of wearable technology—usually a fitness tracking device or a smart watch. I can go on and on.
IoT technology is already a big part of our life. In addition, several major IoT acquisitions happened last year. The most prominent one was the acquisition of Nest Labs by Google for $3.2 billion. I’ve called this “The Netscape Moment of IoT.” For those who remember, Netscape went public in 1995 and closed at $2.9 billion on its first day of trading. That was unheard of at the time—and prompted the dotcom boom. The Nest deal is similar—before January 2014, nobody could imagine that an IoT company might be worth $3.2 billion. That gave a huge boost to the whole industry.
To answer your question about why is it happening now: It’s true that M2M solutions (once known as telemetry) have existed for over 20-30 years, but the quantities were extremely low and the prices were very high.
Today, a combination of trends are fueling the rapid growth of IoT: The cost of silicon came down dramatically, driven by the smartphone ecosystem. (By silicon we mean transceivers, micro-processors, sensors, memory, and so on.) The cost of cellular data has been going down about 30 percent to 40 percent a year over the last several years. Cloud applications are very common, and there is no need to maintain an IT-infrastructure to develop and deploy apps that communicate with connected devices (e.g. fleet tracking). The decreasing size of devices makes wearable technology possible. Advances in power management ensure fairly long battery life.
All of these trends, plus growing awareness, are driving the IoT growth now. There are just no more excuses for not deploying IoT applications.
X: What (or where) is the real value of this technology?
DO: IoT is already improving our lives. Think of a Nest thermostat that does not require a 50-page user manual, can be controlled remotely, and saves on home energy costs. Think of the savings smart meters offer to … Next Page »
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