Internet of things: sober truth
20141013 Raghu Das
The Internet of Things (IoT) would be huge if it included such things as personal electronics and all RFID, but that would be a cynical attempt to create something new by renaming what is already out there. In the research carried out for the new IDTechEx report, "The Internet of Things: Business Opportunities 2015-2025" (www.IDTechEx.com/IoT), we define IoT as based on IP addressed sensor nodes. Interviews with organisations including chip leader ARM to ZigBee proponent Telegesis see few directly addressed ones in the next decade. However, IDTechEx adds, wireless edge nodes with microcontrollers and sensors communicating in real time to an IP addressed gateway. Ultimately those nodes are addressed via the internet. Cisco, Bosch and ARM use approximately this definition.
Cost tumbles down for these nodes even as complexity increases. Up to ten sensors tend to be involved and we can expect that many nodes will have multiple energy harvesting in future given the problems of embedding batteries with their limited life. Enter harvesting-tolerant electronics needing minimal electricity and accepting intermittent, spiky harvesting sources. By energy harvesting we refer to what Edison advised: "Make electricity where you need it" in this case using ambient energy. Nowadays that can recruit electricity from heat difference, rotation, vertical, side and forward movement, light (visible, UV) and more.
Dr Peter Harrop, leader of the IDTechEx IoT analyst team declares, "Cisco rightly says that there will be a tipping point for IoT based on sensor nodes with IP addresses. Others include too much that is only minimally related if it is related at all. That unedifying approach results in a market of over $10 billion even today. We forecast $48 billion for IoT nodes in 2025 from a figure of well under $1 billion in 2015. Applications will remain very varied, with the market split between them. Telemedicine and smart home/ smart city may be in the lead in future - we give figures. Nevertheless, from a near zero base in 2014, caution is needed."
Attend: "Internet of Things Applications USA 2014" conference and exhibition on Nov 19-20 Santa Clara including Masterclasses and involving 200 exhibitors and 2000+ senior level delegates.
Top image: UCLA