Recently, I attended the Internet of Things Summit in San Jose. Boasting “The Rise of the Interconnected World,” this summit brought together thought leaders to discuss how we might create smarter, more interconnected spaces. This was a great conference, very forward-looking and rife with great presenters calling this “The Intelligence Age.” This sounds pretty exciting to me!
It is unquestionable that the Internet of Things (IoT) is coming of age right now. Some slides from presentations at the summit show that Cisco believes the IoT space is a $19 trillion opportunity, and GE predicts that the industrial internet will grow the US GDP by $15 trillion. McKinsey consulting thinks the IoT space will have up to a $33 trillion impact on the global economy by 2025. These are big numbers, and they reflect how much growth is happening now and forthcoming in this exciting space.
In my own life, some IoT items will be of great benefit. As I frequently misplace my keys, I’m greatly looking forward to installing August smart locks on my office door. An added bonus is that I no longer will need to be at the door in order to open the door. Also, my parents have a hard time setting alarms in their house, so I can help them with a camera that I can manage remotely for them. That said, it’s important to note that the growth in the IoT sector isn’t just in things for the home. At RingCentral, we believe that we are becoming more and more untethered. With our products, you are no longer tethered to your desktop phone. IoT is for bigger industries too, including automotive, where the IoT will enable cars to talk with each other and with smart assistants. Also, large companies like GE, Rockwell, and Cisco are investing a lot in new ways to run networks and manufacturing and collect and analyze data in this space. What does that mean? I think that the IoT space as a whole is going to change the way we think of technology, and the way we interact with apps will soon change fundamentally. Instead of us operating technology, we are going to start learning how to trust technology to help us make decisions in our everyday lives.
By way of one more example, the IoT will be at the heart of the healthcare industry. This has already begun with smart medical devices such as heart pacemakers and blood glucose monitors. Everything from infant care to elder care to intensive care will change now as doctors and patients will no longer always have to be in the same room to give and receive treatment, establish diagnoses, or report on progress. IoT in this space will save lives.
Innovation is among my passions, so you can imagine that I left the IoT summit rather happy. It is exciting to think of how the Internet of Things will improve, and even save, lives.
*The image is from a slide presentation by Logitech.
This piece originally appeared on my blog on May 5, 2015.
Originally published Jun 10, 2015, updated Sep 20, 2021