Internet of Things - The Next Wave

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"Internet connection in a box with a motor" is introduced by Paul Gerhardt from Lockitron. To have internet connection that you carry with you is part of a next wave in the internet of things. David Liu defines the internet of things by saying it's when "more things are connected to the internet than people." To Paul Gerhardt though it's much more about adding an extra layer of functionality rather than just adding internet to an object. Jason Rosenthal from Lytro, also on this practical panel, agrees with Paul and adds that functionality needs to serve the customer first and foremost.

The internet of things is realised mainly through start-ups and they have entered a new wave too. "The trend for getting resources to fund a start up has changed culturally" says Paul which leads David Liu to ask the panel how 2014 will pan out for the market of the internet of things. Despite great optimism for the industry Rosenthal has a good anecdote on where the internet may not always be wanted, such as the attempt to connect internet to the gas pump. Also Guido Stephan from Siemens says, that with his customer base he needs to think much more long term. The consensus is that the internet of things has to focus on providing services that are needed rather than simply seem like another gadget.

Depending greatly on the cheap supply of hardware from China the internet of things companies are often criticised as taking advantage of this supply chain and not actually creating something new. Paul Gerhardt disagrees and says that it's more about how the things are connected to other and more social software rather than just the piece of plastic it is made of. So it's more about the social aspect and individual use of the piece of plastic or glass.

One of the advice Paul Gerhardt gives though is to learn Chinese if you're in the industry of internet of things as well as making best use of a network in order to stay in touch with what trends will have longevity. Jason Rosenthal wraps up the panel with appealing to innovators to focus on markets that have a potential for growth.

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