What CES 2016 Had For The Internet of Things

CES 2016 Logo

Recently concluded CES 2016 technology was hugely occupied by the automotive technologies like drones but the internet of things was still able to get its share in the event. A large portion of the CES 2016 was about interconnected gadgets. This event gave a clear vision for what the internet of things is going to be about in 2016 and how its business model is going to evolve.

Here we bring you the highlights of CES 2016 and what it had in store for internet of things.

Amazon Echo was show stealer

Amazon Echo photo
Photo by brewbooks

Ever since Amazon Echo’s inception companies are aggressively trying to make their IoT applications compatible to it. One such revelation was made by Ford which told media about its plan to integrate support for Echo in its software bundle so that users can control their home lighting and other devices while driving.

Security gadget makers like Vivint also announced the compatibility of their IoT platforms to be voice controlled through Echo. All in all, Echo was the hit among IoT application manufacturers as an integrating partner this year.

IoT Services Took Forefront Over Devices

IoT devices were the secondary talks as the manufacturers and companies talked mostly about internet of things services. It’s quite obvious to have services that make the already existing devices more efficient. For instance Procter and Gamble talked about their IoT platform based Air Freshener which is connected to internet and can be integrated with Nest Thermostat to release the spray based on the room temperature and use AC fan for reaching deeper into your home interiors.

Likewise Whirlpool launched a suite of smart kitchen products that are based in IoT architecture. These devices are already capable of communicating with IBM Watson and Nest products. Soon company is going to integrate an Amazon backed shopping feature in its product. Iris, Medronic, and Under Armor were other major players who were more interested in services than devices.

Startup Ideas Were Stolen By Big Companies

Whether you believe it or not, this year CES showcased, internet of things examples taking mainstream path. Many major companies adopted kickstarter projects to show maturity about the acceptance of IoT industry. One big difference with big names is that they can provide the much needed security and address privacy issues which many startups fail at.

The downfall is there was no talk about infrastructure standards and data models that can allow ominous compatibility to various internet of things devices.  In simple words in absence of standards it is very much possible that you buy an IoT appliance that can communicate with NEST but not with IBM Watson.

IoT Business Models Became Evident

As IoT trends in 2016 is making it clear that services will be more important that devices, the business model for internet of things industry is move beyond one time purchase model. Examples are like Lowe’s add-on security monitoring services based on monthly subscription model that customers can choose on their will and requirement. Similarly Whirlpool can offer its customers an edge by providing discounts on laundry products customers buy through its washing machine dashboard directly.

Opportunities are immense and we should be ready for them.

Data Privacy Remains a Challenge

Data us truly IoT’s end game!

IoT devices and applications are just means to access data but real worth to these gadgets is provided by the data they access, collect and respond to. Privacy of such data is utmost important. Companies should always focus on collecting data that is necessary for them and not more. It makes them more secure as liability of data and privacy theft from their side is drastically reduced.

At the end it is more of enterprise segment which will be in year 2016 as companies will struggle with security concerns, develop business models and enrich services over devices.

Photo by ETC-USC

A journalism major, i have worked with IT and Embedded System clients as lead content developer. I cover all the industry news and trending topics in IoT domain here.