The idea of a smart home is less about the individual smart objects in it and more about how they all can work together. In that context, Amazon is leading the small pack, at least based on what consumers are saying online. Aside from an individual smart object, there are a few major platforms on which certain products can work, and they're all from very major companies.
Most consumers may have an idea of what smart objects are but that may not be of any help to those trying to sell those smart things. For example, it turns out that most (91%) consumers are at least aware of the term 'smart home' and the majority (51%) see smart homes as one of the most likely technologies to have an impact on consumers lives, based on a recent study. And when consumers think of smart homes, there's a range of uses that appeal to them, according to the global smart home study by GfK. Here are the areas …
While connected devices are popping up everywhere, from clothing and cars to appliances and buildings, confidence is lacking in a big way in the security around The Internet of Things. But while security is seen as a monster issue pretty much across the board, companies are stil planning to plough plenty of money into IoT. A recent report by Gartner identifying the top technologies for next year put security at the top of the list.
While many Internet-connected wearable devices are hitting the market well into the foreseeable future, where the items will be worn and what types they will be is pretty wide ranging. Even though fitness trackers and smartwatches are the most popular, consumers will be wearing billions of dollars' worth of connected things on various parts of their bodies. And the number of wearables hitting the market globally already is well into the millions, as I wrote about here this week.
Wearable Internet-connected devices are shipping by the millions, with a focus on fitness leading the way. More global year-end numbers just came out showing that the wearables market grew 127% in the last quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. And the numbers are impressive.
Another milestone has been reached in The Internet of Things, this one relating to smartwatches. The number of smartwatches shipped has just passed the number of Swiss watch shipments worldwide. Global smartwatch shipments reached 8.1 million units in the last quarter of 2015, compared to 7.9 million Swiss watch shipments, according to the latest tally.
At any major mobile or tech oriented large convention these days, The Internet of Things plays a prominent role. At the annual CES mega-show in Las Vegas at the beginning of this year, there were countless new Internet-connected devices and various types of new consumer smart products introduced, as we thoroughly documented here at the time. And now the annual wireless industry's Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona gets underway today and there is no shortage of IoT introductions coming.
Wearables may soon be able to disconnect themselves from being tethered to smartphones and begin to act on their own. This has long been one of the promises of The Internet of Things, where each device or sensor will be independent and also connected via the cloud. On the eve of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, a new standard already in some mobile devices has just been introduced as part of the GSMA's Consumer Remote SIM Provisioning initiative.
While adults ponder the perils and opportunities of the coming wave of connected things, from wearables to cars, young children already are starting off with IoT as they learn to speak. While the recent introduction of Hello Barbie, with its Siri-like audio interface to communicate with children, has been in the headlines a lot for not all positive reasons, many other Internet-connected toys are hitting the market this year.
Wearable devices require a lot of trust. And besides being in the minds of consumers, trust is something that has to occur between and among connected devices. In a wide-ranging report on security design flaws in wearable fitness trackers, the highly regarded IEEE Computer Society detailed some of the trust factors. The organization identified what it terms the top 10 software security design flaws and created a fictitious wearable tracking system to illustrate the flaws.