Internet of Things: not a fan yet

August 18, 2017

During the summer, I attended 2 conferences and Demo Day focused on Internet of Things (ioT).

 

I need to admit that I am not a strong believer that IoT will make a strong impact in our life in the next 5 years. The conferences that I attended did not make me to change my mind.

 

Gartner estimated that by 2021 30 billions of home devices will be connected, from dishwasher, thermostats, washing machine, audio-video system,…

 

My It is unclear how many home connected device (excluding smartphone and tablets) are present in the world today. Gartner estimated around 6 billion devices but I find this number too high to believe. How many people do you know have a connected device at home? Very few I suspect….

 

My main concern: IoT do no improve our productivity at home or at work and do not make us happier.

 

So far, the IoT market has been mainly linked to thermostat (think Nest) and some home device as washing machine.

 

I recently made a research to buy a new washing machine; the standard models are priced around £300-400, a Samsung connected Washing machine cost £1,300.

 

So how a £1,300 washing machine can improve my life? 2 main factors:

  • I can open the washing machine with my smartphone

  • The washing machine will send me a SMS once the washing is done

 

That’s all…Obviously I bought the £300 washing machine…

 

Home thermostat and Nest in particular are another example of unmatched expectations about the level of adoption of the IoT technology.

 

Google bough Nest in 2014 for $3.2bn. The expectations that millions of people would rush to buy Nest device in order to regulate home temperature from their office desk, from the gym or the car didn’t work out. It turned out that people do not really have the needs to change home temperature.

 

Nest Revenues in 2014 were around $300m, Nest Revenues 2016 were @ $360m (Annual Growth Rate of 10%, not really a booming sector). in 2016 the CEO of Nest left the company.

 

While sceptical about the IoT I need to remind myself that usually technology forecast overshoot on a 5 years basis but undershoot on a 10 years level …

 

Ps the IoT analysis do not include Amazon Echo. No doubt there that Echo will be the next big thing. 

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