I think out of this "noise" would come opportunities for the creation of innovative algorithms to extract useful information. In my view, one key to enabling this is standardization of information formats and sensor IDs and capabilities. So when I hear about billions or even a trillion connected sensors, I say bring-it-on!
Sure there's hype. Bu maybe there's some truth to those claims:
In embedded.com Jack continues to talk about $15T over the rest of the decade being 4% of GDP. I can see how new systems with sensors(coupled with AI) creating savings/value greater than 4% everywhere in the economy, be it robots, labs-on-a-chip or sensor networks or plain old smartphones(altough i';m not sure it would appen that fast)
And i can even see some of those getting to the poor , the way smartphones got there:for example, assuming the lab-on-chip vision is true, treating poor people in places with lack of medical expertise will be possible and probably cheaper using lab-on-chip devices.
And for many industries , the 4% savings/value number is pretty low. Putting sensors in garbage cans saves more than 30% of transport costs(onavo.com). Labs-on-chip could really transform healthhcare. Smart lighting probably saves much more than 4% in total lifetime costs of a bulb.
But sure , that's just savings - it speaks nothing about how much of the value would go towards the electronics.
Jack, well done on an informative, fact based analysis. More sensors isn't necessarily a good thing. Go on to Weather underground and find how many weather stations are available for your area. Most are run by "non engineering" types and as such , the accuracy is questionable. Just the other day, I was seeing a report of rain and a very low temp when I switched to a nearby airport sensor (maintained by professionals) it was much more believeable. If you look at most temperature sensors for consumers, try to find an accuracy spec. So the internet of things will likely just flood us with more useless data.
I'm with you on the hype aspect, but it's hard to say how many "sensors" will exist. The vast majority will most likely NOT be directly connected to the Internet. They will instead be embedded in any number of products.
You need sensors when you build automated control systems, and especially so if you're after greater operational efficiency. So for sure, that's on the increase, in factories, planes, trains, cars, trucks, buses, amusement parks, movie theaters, elevators, HVAC systems, kitchen appliances, and on and on and on. In some countries, even bathrooms have their own set of sensing equipment.
In most cases, for Internet access to these systems, you wouldn't really need unique IP addresses for each sensor.
Replay available now: A handful of emerging network technologies are competing to be the preferred wide-area connection for the Internet of Things. All claim lower costs and power use than cellular but none have wide deployment yet. Listen in as proponents of leading contenders make their case to be the metro or national IoT network of the future. Rick Merritt, EE Times Silicon Valley Bureau Chief, moderators this discussion. Join in and ask his guests questions.