5 obstacles that connected objects must overcome to become part of everyday life

by bold-lichterman

It will be 2 billion connected objects that will be sold in France by 2020, if we grow a study of the GfK firm. The IoT market (Internet of things) promises to be juicy, but it already presents some obstacles to overcome before it reaches critical size. There are indeed at least five fears expressed by professionals in a second study * on connected objects published in May by McKinsey and the Global Semiconductor Alliance (GSA).

First barrier, maintaining the confidentiality of user data. This fear mainly concerns professionals who manufacture electronic chips. The challenge is therefore to succeed in finding a way to guarantee the protection of personal data, whether they are stored remotely on servers (cloud), recorded on a terminal (smartphones, tablets), or when they circulate from there. ‘to each other, we understand in this study.

Find the business model

Manufacturers also fear the difficulty of creating consumer needs in a very fragmented market, and where the supply is already bloated. One of the solutions that the study suggests is to develop business models, not only focused on B2C but also focused on B2B and B2B2C. She suggests that start-ups and entities in the distribution or health sector could be keenly interested in these objects in order to save money. Basically, the study therefore advises opening up to businesses outside the technological sector.

Another point arousing reluctance: the absence of a technical standard, a sort of pattern common to all connected technologies. In general, manufacturers are wondering about the technologies to integrate into the connected object. For now, none seems to be clearly taking the upper hand. Among them, the connectivity used is a good example. Different technologies, low speed or not, have already stood out: Wifi, 4G LTE, Bluetooth, Onramp, Sigfox, etc. But none of them have become the norm yet, as this graph from the study shows:

connectivity-iot

On the other hand, the fragmented nature of the connected objects market makes professionals in the sector hesitate. They wonder if it is economically interesting to create a specific interface for each of the objects. Especially since for the moment, most of them are still selling little, which does not motivate to develop their own platform for each of them.

Besides the technical difficulties that affect the functionalities of connected objects, manufacturers are not convinced of the commercial potential of IoT-related applications.

Finally, many believe that there is still progress to be made to reduce the energy consumption of these objects. A point likely, according to them, to stimulate demand considerably.

* These results come from a survey of 259 executives and senior executives working in the field of electronic chip production in the United States, interviewed between August 2014 and April 2015.

Read also: IoT: European industry plans 140 billion euros of investments per year by 2020 (PwC)

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