The Rise of IoT

According to Peter Bohn of The Verge, one of the trends coming out of this year's CES in Las Vegas is IoT, or The Internet of Things.  Bohn writes:

The Internet of Things continues to be the most vague and B2B-sounding product category I've yet encountered in tech. But it gets clearer when you see what the gadgets actually are: doors that lock themselves, thermostats that program themselves, cameras that monitor your home for intruders, and more. But IoT isn’t about the gadgets, it’s about the way they talk to each other.

If the last ten years were dominated by the rise of the smartphone and its ecosystems, the next is probably about IoT and ADAS and whatever other acronyms we come up with to describe the multiplicity and diversity of these tiny gadgets. A wearable puts a computer on your wrist, sure, but IoT is putting a computer everywhere, and the ways our industry has been talking about that gigantic shift have been terminally boring and easy to to ignore so far. That needs to change.

These devices are inherently creepy to some, but they're beginning to look inevitable. It's possible to build these systems with some modicum of privacy and safety. Samsung is at least approaching the ecosystem with the right attitude — it purchased SmartThings last August and is keeping that company's dedication to openness and interoperability intact.

Cheap chips and cheaper cloud computing is letting every company build more interesting gadgets. The ways that they talk to each other and to the giant corporations that create those ecosystems is going to be massively important: will one company dominate? Will they be secure enough? Will they be impossible to figure out? Will we give up yet more privacy in exchange for yet more advertising? Will the technology actually work?

We're probably going to need more acronyms to answer all those questions.