Be Careful Not To Overhype The IoT

As with big data, overhyping new tech will only damage its potential


The Internet of Things is not a new idea and many people around the world are aware of it. However, although the concept is well known, it is not even close to reaching its full potential.

There are some who claim that 2016 is going to be the year of Internet of Things, but I beg to differ. The truth is that although 2016 is likely to see an increased use of the technology, it is as likely to be known as 'the year of the IoT' as 1995 would have been 'the year of the internet'. Sure, there is going to be significant growth in the area, but will this be the year it exploded or just be another year that it grew?

I would argue that it will be the latter, mainly because the vast number of people who will end up using it will not fully grasp its hold over their daily lives. When they get a new app on their phone that harnesses the power of the IoT, the brilliance of the app will be discussed, not the way that it was created through a complex data infrastructure. It is the same way that people think that broadband is great, but not being too concerned about the cables that allow for the increased bandwidth.

For the growth of the Internet of Things to occur there needs to be a significant increase in the number of devices that can use it, and in order for the number of devices to increase they need to have a practical use. Therefore 2016 is likely to be part of the formative years during which these wider uses are found. It is the equivalent of when the time when the internet was initially created, at the time when being able to connect computers together seemed like a relatively small element; it was only when the implications of these connections became obvious that its true power of it became clear to people.

A similar thing is currently happening with the Internet of Things and although 2016 will certainly see this understanding increase amongst the general population, until they are actively using it all the time, it will not reach its potential. This probably won't happen in 2016, but what we may see are the foundations of this being laid and perhaps the increase of technologies being used to harness it.

It is undoubtedly an exciting time for the Internet of Things, but through hyping up a year in which it will hopefully explode or similar, all that happens is that people, industries and investors get frustrated when presumed monumental success is not achieved. This potentially damages future success. It has been the case with technologies in the past that overhyping simply damages it in the long run, if 'the year of IoT' follows suit in 2016, the disappointment in the failed hype of big data may be felt once more. 

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