The technology powering the Internet of Things is hardly perfected. There will be bumps and failures along the way and some will be highlighted more than others, for a host of reasons, as I wrote about here a while back. One of the latest - and this one is getting worldwide attention - involves the failure of an Internet-connected automatic pet feeder.
The Internet of Things is very much about determining precise consumer location, and sensors such as beacons are helping that along more every day. There are now about 8 million sensors in the marketplace, with the majority of them being beacons, according to a new global market tally.
The number of people who own Internet-connected devices is on the upswing and those connections increasingly are being managed by smartphones. Connected home appliances are now owned by 18% of consumers, up from 10% a year ago, with the leading products in homes being sound systems and household appliances, according to a new global study.
The Internet of Things is a big deal, but not everywhere. While ubiquitous in the United States, the Internet is not used by 4 billion people, more than half (53%) of the world's population, based on new worldwide tabulation. Almost two-thirds (64%) of households in the Americas are connected compared to half of households globally, according to a new report.
The marketing of fitness trackers to consumers seems to be paying off. While still relatively high, the number of people who don't own or plan to buy a fitness tracker in the next year has declined. The number of people who own a fitness tracker has now reached 18%, based on a new, large study.
Most notably, the flood of Apple watches hitting the market seems to have hit a wall. While sales of other smartwatches are up, the overall numbers are dragged down because Apple so dominates the market. In the top five smartwatch brands, Apple is the only company to have lost ground, and a lot of it, based on the latest worldwide device tracker.
Beacons are helping shoppers find what they want. The beacons installed at retailers and restaurants in one of the earliest and wide-spread deployments are driving consumer engagement and sales. That's what's happening on the mile-long Regent Street, the Fifth Avenue of London, where beacons are sending messages to shoppers as they walk by.
Sometimes the assumptions made by creators and marketers of products in the world of the Internet of Things can be a little off. I'm reminded of a business exec I was speaking to some time ago who was complaining about his company's customers. They just weren't seeming smart enough to buy this company's products.
The scope of the Internet of Things is continually magnified. First, there's the sheer size. With estimates of more than 600 million wearables in use by 2020, 16 billion IoT devices by the following year and 100 billion connected devices by 2025, the market is on tap to be flooded with Internet-connected devices.
While many Internet-connected devices get created, the market ultimately will decide which will gain traction. And after introducing a product into the marketplace, IoT product creators and marketers have to closely monitor how their devices are used and adapt accordingly. A good example of this adaptation is in the introduction of the new Nest Cam Outdoor camera.