3 Reasons Why 2017 Will Be the Year of the Internet of Things
It was predicted to make a game-changing contribution to the world of technology, yet its muted impact has so far failed to capture the public’s imagination.
To be sure, the Internet-of-Things (IoT) is going to fundamentally alter how we relate to, and interact with, both our environment and our mobile communication devices. However, as the next iteration of the computing revolution, the technology has run up against some stubborn obstacles in its quest for cultural domination.
Despite its apparent newness, the notion of an Internet of Things was actually first discussed as far back as 1985, but the IoT didn’t go on to take off in the same fashion as many of its sister technologies had done in the past.
Why was this? There were, and to some extent still are, three main reasons: compatibility, security and scale. As luck would have it, 2017 is set to be the year in which we go a long way to solving each and every one of them. Let’s take a look at how this might come about.
Arguably the most pressing concern for the IoT these past couple decades has been its lack of a universal operating protocol. There is currently a “bewildering choice of connectivity options” available to app developers, and enabling machine-to-machine communications across so many platforms is no easy feat.
To solve this issue, Google has been busy creating a communications protocol and operating system for the IoT named Weave and Brillo, respectively. This will allow application engineers to easily incorporate their products into the Google portfolio.
As Hanwook Kim, Google’s lead manager on the project, put it:
We want to make it easy for developers to build connected devices in an open ecosystem. If you’re building a new product from scratch or find that your current OS isn’t providing the flexibility you need, Brillo could be a good fit.
In addition, existing devices using alternative operating systems can still utilize the Weave protocol to link products to the cloud, and in doing so make them compatible with other applications in the Google catalogue.
2. Cloud Security
It’s no secret that the IoT has had security issues in the past. However, now that so many linked devices are located in sensitive places with high consequences of failure — airplanes, hospitals, military establishments, etc. — the imperative to bolster cyber-security is at an all-time high. As it is, the cloud and the IoT are now practically inseparable. Fortunately, the Cloud Security Alliance has recently issued a set of guidelines to knit together a joined-up approach to cloud security, and experts are also now actively petitioning the U.S. Congress to make IoT security a major priority. These developments are all welcome news for the future of the IoT .
3 Data-Handling and Scale
As the IoT grows, issues of data storage and infrastructure maintenance become increasingly important.
Take a look at us. We specialize as a mobile payment provider, and we offer various business solutions to government organizations, educational establishments, private companies and public transport hubs. By connecting multiple different agencies and dealing with sensitive financial transactions, our scale of operations is huge – which only makes resolving these complex challenges, oftentimes with the help of IoT technology, all the more rewarding.
Yet companies such as Passport are thriving. This is because the data-handling technology needed to process the kinds of specific data that the IoT creates — time-series data, for instance — is adapting fast. The coming 12 months should see further developments in this arena.
Even if the IoT doesn’t deliver on its high promises in 2017, it is one step closer to doing so. That in itself is a good reason to be optimistic.