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What Will 2014 Bring For Internet of Things? Some Thoughts.

As we’ve noted before, The Internet of Things is figuring prominently in both year-end round ups and year-end predictions. Many technology pundits saying that the IoT and security issues related to Internet-connected devices will be a major trend to watch this year.

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The next year will bring further adoption of Internet of Things technology – but how much adoption is unclear.

Here are some interesting takes on what 2014 holds for The Internet of Things.

Better Design (Wired) 

While superbly designed products like the NEST Thermostat get much of the attention when folks talk about the potential of The Internet of Things, good design isn’t a prerequisite for making a “smart” device – nor is it even that common in the nascent IoT, as a casual reading of some of our coverage will show you. But good design – or at least better design – that includes robust security will be necessary if the IoT market is to mature. That’s the argument Jermoe Nadel makes in this article on Wired.com. Nadel said that the IoT is likely to experience a “shakeout of expectations before we reach a totally connected world.” That shakeout will have a lot to do with the need for real interoperability, usability and utility of IoT services.

In other words, as we emerge from the “gee whiz” phase (Internet connected tooth-brush), Nadel argues that consumers and enterprises will expect and demand more. What more? He calls for a thoughtful integration between the intelligent device and local (home) and global (cloud) resources that allow smart devices to “build on one another,” while working “in harmony to define the performance, power and security requirements of the applications.”

Integration (ReadWrite Web)

While there’s general agreement on the idea that IoT will be an important trend, there’s not so much agreement on whether the changes wrought by Internet of Things adoption and greater integration between connected devices will be gradual or sudden and disruptive.

ReadWrite’s Brian Proffitt is in the former camp – arguing in this 2014 predictions piece that the next 12 months will bring gradual changes that will help make the IoT a more viable platform, including more industry collaboration in the mould of the AllSeen Alliance created by Qualcomm, LG, Sharp, Panasonic and others). Proffitt also sees mobile payments as a kind of ‘killer application’ that will spur Internet of Things adoption. Noting the recent breach at retailer Target, he argues that mobile payments technology like Google Wallet and Paypal could explode this year. That, in turn, may pave the way for more commercial adoption of IoT technology, while focusing attention and resources in needed areas like communications and transaction security.

A Tipping Point (Forbes)

In the other camp are Paul Nunes and Larry Downes over at Forbes. The two, who have written a book (Big Bang Disruptions) and argue that sudden change fomented by the adoption of IoT technology in the home and office may soon be upon us. As the price of connected devices comes down and their performance (including interoperability) improves, we may soon reach a “tipping point” that leads to “rapid and widespread adoption” of IoT technology, they write.

Attacks (PC Magazine) 

PC Magazine focused their editorial lens on security and Internet of Things in this round-up, concluding that 2014 will be an important year for the development of “proof of concept” attacks against IoT devices and infrastructure, but that practical attacks are some years off.

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