The rise of the Internet of Things: Reality or conspiracy?

It’s only August but the balloting is near for describing the year in technology. Is 2014 the year of the data breach, or the year of the  so-called Internet of Things?

Columnist Gil Press might vote for the IoT, for he notes on that it is the most hyped emerging technology — although it is far from new — today.

So why this year, he asked a number of experts. You may find the answers interesting. For example, Bob Metcalfe, inventor of the Ethernet and now professor of Innovation at University of Texas at Austin, blames me. Well, not directly, but he blames the media.  

“Technologies and standards and products and markets emerge slowly, but then suddenly, chaotically, the media latches on and BOOM!—It’s the year of IoT,”  he’s quoted as saying. And he’s right to some degree. Vendors have put out a number of commissioned studies to show that CIOs/IT managers/network managers are thinking about/planning for/implementing IoT solutions and before you know it our columns are full of it.

Of course, no one is twisting the arms of the respondents who say they are actually putting money into it. Perhaps I should be skeptical when Cisco Systems — which will benefit from the rise of the IoT if demand for network bandwidth increases because of it — says spending on the Internet of Things is about to explode. But what do I do when research firm IDC says it?

Actually, there are a lot of analyst firms on the bandwagon, Press details, as an increasing number of people and firms think about what things can be (must be) connected to the Internet. Read them yourself in his post and figure out if 2014 is too early or just right for the IoT.

In addition, say others, is the fact that technology advances are making the IoT a reality.

Sorry, but I have to cut this off. My Internet-connected aquarium is signalling that it’s time to feed the fish.

Howard Solomon
Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer, I'm the former editor of and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, I've written for several of ITWC's sister publications including and Computer Dealer News. Before that I was a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times. I can be reached at hsolomon [@]

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