Double IoT rainbow

Number of IoT devices to double in the next six years

Coman Hamilton
rainbow
Feature image: Kansas Poetry (Patrick)

The hype surrounding the Internet of Things seems to have reached its peak, but research shows number of IoT devices will continue to grow to 40 billion by 2020.

The Internet of Things and Big Data have long been
playing Game of Thrones for the title of biggest buzzword in IT.
Last week, IoT officially kicked the analytics trend into the
“trough of disillusionment” in Gartner’s Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies.
Meanwhile IoT has moved up into the “peak of excitement”.

HC_ET_2014

Source: Gartner (August 2014)

But even if the IoT hype can get any bigger, the
growth of active wireless connected devices is nowhere near its
peak. According to ABI Research, the number of “things” is set to
double by 2020. ABI claims that IoT devices, which are estimated to
hit 16 billion by the end of the year, will grow to 40 billion by
2020.
Gartner
 recently put the figure significantly lower, at 26
billion devices.

Meanwhile, wearable devices are also said to be
growing astronomically this year. Wrist devices have increased a
whopping 700% in the first half of this year alone, says
Canalys
, who puts Samsung in first place as the leader in
wearable technology, followed by Pebble and Sony.

In an attempt to root
Java ME 8 at the heart of IoT,
Oracle are doing their best to
establish Java as the main go-to language for programming
wirelessly connected devices. For the 9 million Java developers out
there poised to switch to programming connected embedded devices,
the latest version of Java ME is positioning itself as a
comprehensive platform for developing software running the 40
billion connected embedded devices.

A “trough of disillusionment” awaits

As with every tech trend, IoT technology is struggling
to keep up with the buzz that surrounds it. Wearable or
non-wearable, the field of connected devices will itself need to
mature, and its users along with it. “Connectedness means more ways
for things to go wrong,” as
IoT expert Claire Rowland recently said
at the Webinale
conference. Light switches with latency and heaters with
connectivity issues – the average customer is not used to
experiencing digital problems with analogue household devices like
kettles, ovens, lights and thermostats.

But a shoddy user experience isn’t the only problem
facing IoT at the moment.

Backdoors, vulnerabilities and crackable
passwords

Last week, researchers at EuRECOM France
announced
they discovered that an shocking 140,000 IoT devices
have weak security. From backdoors to easy-to-crack passwords (the
most popular default passwords are “pass”, “logout” and “helpme”),
IoT devices are showing up nearly every security flaw in the book.
On top of that, the inferior IoT firmware shared by countless
devices means that as many as half a million devices may also have
the same shared backdoors.

The current state of affairs in IoT begs the question, how many
of the future 40 billion devices will be affected by a poor UX and
even worse security?

Author
Coman Hamilton
Before becoming Editor of JAXenter.com (S&S Media Group), Coman completed an M.A. in Cultural Studies and wrote for numerous websites and magazines, as well as several ad agencies. // Want to submit a story? Get me at coman[AT]jaxenter.com or linkedin.com/in/comanhamilton
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