Required reading for Monday: TechCrunch has a nice little explainer article by @ArtyomAstafurov (of DeviceHive) that talks about the evolution of machine-to-machine (M2M) technologies into the Internet of Things and how the two technology trends are now indistinguishable- and are poised to cause large-scale disruption.
To quote Astafurov:
“IoT separates itself from M2M not only in the simplicity and quantity of devices involved, but also by how the devices communicate with each other…Whereas M2M tends to rely on point-to-point exchanges between individual devices, IoT communications involve dispersed devices sharing data through a central server, resulting in exponentially more data based on the relationships and patterns that emerge.”
And the IoT will drive massive investment in products and technologies that can capture, aggregate and analyze consumer data. This will be akin to the kind of investment corporations put into ERP (enterprise resource planning) tools a decade ago, he says.
Though the focus of IoT right now is on remote sensing, Astafurov notes that, in the near future, IoT will be just as much about cyber physical devices and “actuation” — flipping switches and locks and actually effecting physical space.
That said: there are still significant roadblocks to broad IoT adoption, Astafurov argues. Advances hinge on continued advancements in networking, storage, RAM and processing power that will enable IoT endpoints. The emergence of standard communications frameworks to connect disparate endpoints and infrastructure is also a requirement. Astafurov recognizes that “this shift will not happen overnight” and that “lots of fine tuning” will need to happen first. But once those constituent elements are in place, the sky is the limit.