PARIS — Ever since Cisco started to issue whopping predictions -- like "50 billion IoT devices by 2020" -- the electronics industry has danced to the music. Companies have rushed to the market, developing and acquiring technologies that they think will help them call the IoT tune. In 2014 many IoT discussions broke out, industry consortia popped up, and new products rolled out, many of them actually getting connected to the Internet.
“On a high level, 2014 was a year when we’ve begun feeling the universe [of Internet of Things] will happen,” says Reza Kazerounian, Atmel’s senior vice president and general manager of the microcontroller business unit, in a recent interview with EE Times. With everyone paying so much attention to IoT and getting involved in discussions around IoT, “we started to feel that IoT need to come together and it will eventually take off.”
In fact, “50 billion IoT devices by 2020” is beginning to look not as crazy as it seemed at first. Earlier this year, Morgan Stanley, in its report, defined IoT as “the next big computing cycle, after Mobile Internet,” legitimizing IoT not as hype, but as the next computing paradigm everyone should be in.
But wait. Is this all too good to be true?
The IoT bubble could still burst, if not in 2015, then in the next several years. EE Times in recent weeks talked to several companies and analysts. We asked what they see as the biggest IoT hurdles in the coming year.
Skip Ashton, vice president of software at Silicon Labs, pointed out that it's time for the industry to start talking about IoT not by dwelling on the "Internet," but instead on the "Things."
Ashton explained that knowing intimately what "things" are supposed to do and how they think and behave will be the key to solving one of the IoT's most pressing issues: application layers. Beyond IoT's applications layers, there are unsolved issues that range from privacy, to sensor fusion, to security.
Some companies are treating those issues as opportunities, while others tread carefully. In the following pages, we discuss potential pitfalls in IoT in 2015 and beyond, identified by those working in the IoT industry.
- Pitfalls of IoT
- Never underestimate privacy
- IoT guns for too broad market segments
- Sensor hubs: ‘IP minefield’
- Once connected, security risks are everywhere
- Where are multi-protocol, multi-band wireless MCUs?