Infographic: Defining the Internet of Things

The Internet of Things (IoT) has gone from being a topic best left to technology futurists to one that is about as common as corn flakes. Despite a lot of talk, there remains confusion about just how important this technology breakthrough will be for the supply chain.

We're somewhat clear that end-users will be embracing Internet-connected devices with abandon. A “March 2014 Digital Life in 2025” report issued by Pew Internet Project, created in association with Elon University’s Imagining the Internet Center, tool a look at the horizon of IoT — and it looks bright. “Some 1,867 experts and stakeholders responded to an open-ended question about the future of the Internet by 2025,” said the report. “They said it would become so deeply part of the environment that it would become 'like electricity' — less visible even as it becomes more important in people's daily lives.”

The same may be said in the supply chain as machine-to-machine connections make the supply chain run more smoothly. For example, sensors will allow factories and supply chains to closely track materials to smooth out bumps in lead times and logistics.

Further, distributors, component makers, and contract manufacturers will have to be on hand to help OEMs understand the challenges that lie ahead in these markets. Pointing to recent European headlines about Google's search engine and privacy concerns, Eric Schuck, president of global components for Arrow, told EBN in an interview:

One of the very interesting challenges that we'll be continuing to face globally with the proliferation of IoT, is those times where IoT collides with big data. The data privacy concerns, for example, comes with a lot of responsibility for the providers of the product to be a consumer themselves and to a more limited extent government entities that questions the privacy guidelines being set around areas that are now largely unidentified.

Clearly, this is a conversation that needs to continue. In the meantime, take a look at this infographic, created by Postscapes with Harbor Research that tries to capture the complete story about the Internet of Things.

— Hailey Lynne McKeefry, Editor in Chief, EBN Circle me on Google+ Follow me on Twitter Visit my LinkedIn page Friend me on Facebook

7 comments on “Infographic: Defining the Internet of Things

  1. Eldredge
    May 16, 2014

    I am reminded of an old saying…”To err is human, but it takes a computer to really screw things up!”  Think og tje possibilities!

    But seriously, there should be a good business around system interfacing and testing.


  2. Hailey Lynne McKeefry
    May 16, 2014

    IoT is going to take us in a lot of unexpected directions, I'm sure… and there will be bumps along the way. My biggest concerns are around privacy and security. For example, Eric Schuck, president of global components for Arrow, mentioned one scary example: What if a hacker could see that you hadn't opened your refrigerator in a week—and then could sell that informaiton to thieves who would rob the houses of people who are out of town? My concern is that nefarious types can think of stuff that we wouldn't necessarily come up with on our own! What's the biggest caution sign you see on the road to IoT?

  3. Eldredge
    May 16, 2014

    @Hailey – I share some of those concerns. From a security standpoint, any avenue that you or I could use as a means to control anything in the home from a remote location is also an entry point for clever hackers. It seems like we are constantly hearig about software flaws that provide quirky ways to compromise systems of all kinds.


  4. Wale Bakare
    May 17, 2014

    >>It seems like we are constantly hearig about software flaws that provide quirky ways to compromise systems of all kinds<<

    The more we adopt software, more complex the integration of the devices would be. Sure, security remains a big challenge in IOT space but, that leaves security business space more interesting to explore.

    May 19, 2014

    I get very excited about IoT but then immediatley get depressed when I think of how long it is going to take to get all this stuff seamlessly working together.  Maybe my kids of grandkids will see the real benefits.

  6. kilamna
    May 20, 2014

    Indeed when the IoT gets past the 'ankle' of the growth curve [the steep hockey stick we often see] there will be great disruption in society.  

    Examples of what may happen:

    The milk supplier [packer] will know that about 75% of the time the milk carton that I open doesnt get consumed by the use-by date [a week after opening in any case]. WILL they now develop packing that is just the right volume for me, to reduce waste?  

    Will the number of 'dust mites' in my carpet transmit a message to the cleaning service “time for a visit”. 

    My car already tells me that it will soon be time to take it in for service based on miles driven since last one; will the IoT actually be able to tell which parts are needing care. Yes. Will I take the car in for service, or will the IoT do the service itself.

    I think the greatest application will be in agriculture and health.


  7. Hailey Lynne McKeefry
    May 30, 2014

    @AzmatMalik, thanks for weighing in! I agree…and I love your examples. I think we're still going to have to tackle concerns about data privacy and security. For example, what if (to extend your milk example) a hacker monitor the geolocation capabilities of my health trackers…then they know im 200 miles from my house, making it ripe for burglary. We're going to have some of this kind of glitch until we get our heads around the full implications of the technology.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.