CES 2014 is a wrap. The take away from one of the largest events in the world for technology and electronics spotlights The Internet of Things, according to Eric Bleeker’s post today on the Motley Fool.
It is a fluffy term that has come into existence over the past six years and brings trillions of dollars into the subject matter. It also made the top five on the list of technology trends for the future from Consumer Electronics Association last Oct.
Despite the fluff everyone has been buying into connected devices like smartphones and they become cheaper each year.
Ericsson's CEO estimated at CES 2014 in his presentation on Wednesday stated that for every $10 that's shaved off the price of a smartphone, 100 million more people can buy them. This year, we could see a billion smartphones sold. The relentless pursuit of driving down all the costs of smartphones has had a side benefit: The components inside them have gotten cheaper and smaller at astounding speeds.
Apple’s contract with China Mobile and the necessity to deal with lower pricing on smartphones in the Chinese market open up that over 750,000 million potential users.
For example, 50 cheap sensors across your body could connect to one more-expensive chip (perhaps found inside your smartphone) to monitor your health. It's not a far stretch to call the smartphone ‘the remote control of your life.’ This new world of Digital Health also made the CEA top five technology trends list.
Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs described in his CES presentation a sensor in development that when injected, would alert people up to two weeks ahead of time before they had a heart attack.
That's not a ‘conceptual’ idea; it's reality, and it's happening right now. Beyond sensors in the body, the applications of the Internet of Things stretch only as far as we can imagine. Self-driving cars have made tremendous leaps in the last few years thanks to sensors that monitor their entire surroundings. You could even extend sensors to other uses; coils in streets could sense cars coming by and charge them on their commute.
The billions of people buying those smartphones will be the billions of people living in cities in the future, so infrastructure meets technology when sensors will control traffic flow. The very basic and simple traffic light to stop and admit cars onto the California freeways is just a tiny step and a view of the future.
Consequently those billions of smartphone and connections of sensors lead to trillions of sensors!
The issue ahead for the Internet of Things revolves around capacity. The problem is that the more data and communications being sent on wireless bands, the more congested they get and data speeds either slow down or fail altogether. Compounding this problem is that all spectrum isn't created equal (certain bands are much better for fast mobile technologies like LTE), and just about all the spectrum earmarked for mobile is allocated for use.
The FCC -- which provisions spectrum -- has tried to open things up more for the wireless industry, but the target date for more spectrum is 2020. Not only is that goal an eon away in the time frame of bleeding-edge technology, but Cisco reports that 12 times more mobile data was sent in 2012 than all Internet traffic in 2000. Traffic from mobile devices is expected to surpass wired devices by 2016.
How we allocate our spectrum becomes a key determinant of GDP. A country with better spectrum allocation can better create technologies around the Internet of Things, and become a hub for entrepreneurs on the edge of technology. This will determine how much of the Internet of Things come into reality. A future CES convention event will have it all and IoT is in trillions of dollars as noted by CEO John Chambers at CES
To catch up on CES 2014 please, click on the articles listed below in the Author's suggestions and view the video atop this article for the Internet of Things connected at CES 2014!