‘Internet of Things’ doesn’t describe the scale of the revolution to come and needs a new name, according to BIO CEO Peter Veash.
Calling the term ‘outdated and potentially damaging', Peter says in the article for IoT Now that the problem is that the term came into use long before the concept of a world of truly connected products became a reality.
The first IoT device was created way back in 1989 at the Interop conference when John Romkey presented a toaster that could be switched on and off online, after accepting the challenge from Interop’s president the year before. The term itself was coined 10 years later by Kevin Ashton, executive director of Auto-ID, an academic research centre, in 1999.
Almost 20 years on, Peter points out that what most people really mean by ‘smart’ devices is their ability to gather and process data and educate themselves in order to make decisions and anticipate needs. Today’s smart toaster, he says, would be able to sense if the bread had run out, and order more for the time its owner usually gets home if necessary – checking their diary just in case they’re not following their normal routine (though the latest one on the market is somewhat less ambitious).
He argues that the internet itself is a passive channel and that IoT conjures up images of the clichéd ‘smart fridge’ in people’s minds, though they’re actually already using many connected devices, from home management systems like Hive to personal assistants like Siri and fitness apps, for instance Fitbit.
“‘Internet of Things’ doesn’t describe the true scale of the revolution that is in the air; objects are now beginning to speak to each other, and their language is data. The phrase just doesn’t encompass the vast transformative potential these kinds of products have for industries like energy conservation, healthcare and mobility. If we are to raise consciousness of the great things we could achieve in a truly connected society, the first thing we need to do is give it a new name.”
Read more on connected products in our white paper From connected products to smart lives. It includes commissioned research into consumer attitudes and insights from industry leaders and experts in the field.