As the year winds down, I took a look back to see which aspects of the Internet of Things interested you most during the year. Based on readership of the daily Connected Thinking here, the top items ranged from robotics to luggage that can be tracked anywhere in the world, and lots in between. Here, then, are the most viewed stories as a benchmark for what may lie ahead in the next year:
A major aspect of the Internet of Things is the increasing ability to track actual things. This means much more location data will become available over time. The actual location of things market is now projected to reach $71 billion by 2025, according to new research.
The Dot is hot. Amazon's mini Alexa-enabled voice device, the Amazon Echo Dot, outsold all other products on Amazon over the holidays. That's saying a lot, since more than 1,400 electronic products were ordered per second just on mobile devices, according to Amazon. Second in sales was Amazon's Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote, giving a major boost to voice-activated assistants in the home.
While voice control of in-home smart devices continues to grow, consumers are going to be faced with even more choices in which devices they talk to for which thing. Consumers are getting used to using voice assistants, especially through smartphones. Almost half (46%) of U.S. adults already use voice-controlled digital assistants, according to a study by the Pew Research Center. Of that usage, 42% is via smartphone and 8% from a standalone device.
Digital voice assistants are into the holiday swing. Companies behind the devices are now starting to fine-tune messaging to fit events. New commands for Google Home were just released, including a command to call Santa.
Smart devices consumers find under the Christmas tree this year are more likely to be smart speakers rather than smartwatches. One of the most obvious reasons is the difference in the price of each. A year after significantly downgrading its projections for wearables usage, eMarketer is now forecasting that the number of U.S. adult wearable users will grow 12% next year.
One of the most powerful aspects of artificial intelligence is that it can see things that humans can't. More precisely, it can analyze data and find previously unseen correlations, some likely never to be discovered manually on a recurring basis. Now researchers are tapping AI to tell if a person is lying, such as in a courtroom trial.
The wearables device market can be tough. A recent study showed that interest around wearable devices focused on health and fitness, at least in terms of what kinds of information consumers want from their devices. Fitness devices that are launched to serve those needs won't be coming from Adidas.
One of the recurring issues around the Internet of Things is security. As billion of devices get installed and connected around the globe, a countless number of new links among smart devices will be used to provide consumers with new real-time information and services. Because of various security breaches widely reported, most (94%) consumers have heard stories about them, and many are doing something about it, based on a new study.
There are numerous reasons for consumers to install smart cameras at their homes, but the one that comes to light during the holiday season is package theft. The majority (53%) of consumers know people who have had packages stolen from outside their home, according to a new study. The study comprised a survey of 1,000 U.S. adults who live in a house or townhome and was conducted by Wakefield Research for Comcast, which is using the survey results as an argument for its Xfinity Home indoor and outdoor camera. Almost a third (30%) of those surveyed have had a package …