Smart forks. Smart tennis rackets. Smart toothbrushes. Smart teddy bears. Smart fitness bands.
The Internet of Things hype is inspiring an endless stream of connected gadgets that light up Kickstarter campaigns and pack the halls of consumer electronics conferences.
But Tim O’Reilly, the technology publisher and Silicon Valley guru, is worried that these products have hijacked the conversation about IoT and distracted people by making them focus on what amount to novelty items.
It’s frustrating for O’Reilly, one of the sharpest observers of tech trends for the past three decades, because he sees something about to happen on a grand, unprecedented scale and he worries that people aren’t discussing it enough. He believes that the coming IoT era will result in more sweeping changes to our lives, our work, and our communities than those brought about by the eras of the PC, Internet, or smartphones.
“Obviously, Silicon Valley is all over this,” O’Reilly said. “But I think they are missing the point. They are creating some gadgets, but they aren’t thinking about systems.”
This massive disruption, O’Reilly said, will be powered by elements that are well known. Powerful, low-cost sensors that become ubiquitous; mass adoption of mobile gadgets that serve as hubs for IoT devices; blazing fast wireless networks; and all the data these things will generate.
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