By Dennis Jones
Incredible surge of devices coming online in the next few years makes IoT an enviable business proposition. And iPass will be right there as the indispensable connector of things!
In a recent article, Fortune points to the growing number of companies onboarding IoT solutions to leverage next generation technology.
IoT, short for Internet of Things, is the industry term used to define adding internet connectivity to previously “dumb” devices. In other words, IoT is connecting any device with on/off capabilities – essentially, anything – to the Internet and/or to other IoT devices. Think Google’s Nest Learning Thermostat, or Philips’ smart light bulbs, or Logitech’s smart remote, or any of the myriad Wi-Fi enabled wearables on the market, like the Apple Watch. The same fundamental concept pertains to all: enable connectivity to give a previously “dumb” device the ability to identify human behavior patterns.
Raj Talluri, a senior VP at Qualcomm, expects a serious cash inflow coming into the IoT market in the coming years. And research firm, IDC, predicts that the IoT market’s revenue, measured at $655.8 billion in 2014, will reach upwards of $1 trillion dollars by the end of the decade. These numbers tell the same story as McKinsey researchers, who see the number of connected devices increasing up to 30 billion by the end of the decade!
At this point, the takeaway is simple: you risk more NOT investing in IoT than you do taking a chance on next frontier technology.
And big players in tech are already making big investments in IoT, in addition to offering their own lines of IoT products and components.
So far, we have Google developing a platform, Brillo, on which other devices will offer IoT services. The same goes for Intel and Qualcomm; both are coming up with chip-based platforms to bring connectivity to a slew of formerly “dumb” devices. Apple has a smart home platform, HomeKit, which would help devices connect their products to iPhones and iPads. And BlackBerry is building up its IoT infrastructure.
IoT is so ubiquitous that today you’re finding unexpected companies making very surprising, even quirky, IoT pitches. For instance, Netflix, which you’d think would have little interest in IoT, proposed its own smart solution for users. The Netflix Switch is a prototype, which enables users to control their Netflix, while simultaneously dimming their lights and ordering take-out. Netflix went so far as to post a how-to guide on its website to demonstrate to users how to create their own Stitch. Although we might brush aside Netflix’s quixotic creation, it definitely shows how important the IoT market has become.
As companies invest more and more in IoT, the benefits redound to the user. And those benefits are large scale in scope. Talluri, for instance, envisages a future in which IoT simplifies the life of the average consumer.
As the pioneer in Internet mobile connectivity, with the IP to prove it, iPass will play a quietly indispensable role in IoT. As our CEO, Gary Griffiths, says, when devices want to connect with shared data and with people who want shared data, iPass will be right there, with the largest global network. “We might not be the gold miners of the IoT world – but we’re certainly the Levi’s jeans!”