IoT actually had already been happening behind the scenes through many years! From custom silicon chips, to OBC (on board computers), to Embedded systems (port based communication), SCADA (client server), to home/industry automation and now connecting every ‘thing’. The downsides and/or limitations of such a mesh network of every thing had been known for years too. Security, distribution, standardization to say the least, and money needed for physical enhancement of all the ‘things’ in the physical space.
IoT emerges as a business opportunity for many, and with advent of physical innovations ranging from better and faster silicon chips to Nano-technology, the future is exciting as we stand on the verge of next big thing…
For a business owner, the fact remains that ‘Internet’ of things, inherently needs physical enablement of ‘things’ to have multiple capabilities. For instance, whatever I need to connect to the IoT network bluntly requires me to compliment given physical object with necessary sensory hardware, communication engine and software, compliant to common protocols. Sure there are a few exceptions when one of these components may already exist or not needed at all. However today’s things are hard-wired to the IoT enabling technology. Thus the fact remains that IoT has potential to increase capital investment, into assets which are not truly ‘retail’. In most cases, it will be worth, in some cases, it may not.
As a side note, many startups working in the space of IoT devices (physical) possess a risk of not being a true ‘off the shelf’ product, since there are not many shelfs they would have access to. Things may go positive as well, when a bigger brand acquires their technology and attempts to become a true ‘retail’ solution. Till such consolidation happens in IoT world, business owners cannot stop from taking advantage of the phenomenon
Smartphones, typically have all necessary ‘IoT’ components, and can be ‘smartly’ used as ‘IoT enablers’ where possible. Everybody has them, or they can be procured truly off the shelf. They are not attached to a given ‘thing’, benefiting in cases where certain things are to be connected to the network only for specific time span.
Smartphones come with their own specific challenges while attempting to produce reliable, consistent and repeatable sensor data. The peculiarities typically arise from the fact that smartphones come in variety of shapes, size, and quality. An accelerometer for instance, from a $10 phone may not always be as reliable as the one from a $500 phone. Differences arise in quality of data, frequency of data acquisition, consistency of data correctness or incorrectness, and calibration issues.