Wait, what? Is the IoT about to disappear?

Image credit: David MG / Shutterstock.com

We thought the ‘IoT’ would disappear eventually but the blanket term for simply connected things does seem to be disappearing, and fast. The number of articles talking generally about the IoT is being replaced by articles about things that are disrupting elements of what used to be the IoT (mainly specific industries, as predicted).

We now see more and more stories and reports about which industries drones are disrupting (perhaps revolutionising would be a better term). Industries that are, on the digital face of it boring and old fashioned – mining, agriculture, oil – are all benefitting hugely from the scope and range of drones. When considered in the context of how the data they collect can be crunched and analysed (big data and analytics were exciting terms a year or so ago and now seem boring) the potential is astonishing.

Other, more obvious examples, include Project Zero (interesting name) which is creating an ‘Internet of Cities’. This was discussed at the recent AI for Good Summit and the idea is that cities exchange ideas and experiences so that the smart city becomes smarter, based on shared experiences.

Perhaps the ‘thing’ that has almost completely taken over our psyche (apart from the mess that is the GDPR which will feed lawyers for years) is AI. We are now stuck in the ping pong match that bounces the idea that AI will become evil and take over the world from the humans, to AI is for good and cannot be made bad (we should refer to the ‘garbage in, garbage out’ principle here).

And, of course, all these half-formed ideas and concepts lead to massive confusion. They have given us a new generation of ‘buzzword bingo’. Launch a new product without it being fuelled by AI, based on big data, taken to Mars and back by drones hooked into the IoT and frankly you are not cool.

These ideas lead to identity crises.

As our esteemed Tony Poulos pointed out last week, telcos (for instance) don’t really know what they are, or should be anymore. They should, as Rohit Talwar also pointed out, ‘stick to their knitting’. In fact, they should probably have stuck to their knitting before being tempted into launching products or services that just don’t fit with their image, or half formed strategy.

Perhaps it would be useful, instead of fixating on the woolly concept of the IoT, or obsessing about how AI is disrupting [insert name of industry/arena] to look at how industries themselves are developing and create an Internet of Industries that can learn from each other’s mistakes and experiences.

What to name such a thing, though?

Maybe Project One?

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