The IoT Awakens: five things to keep in mind for the connected age

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There’s been an awakening in the IoT, have you felt it? At CES, you couldn’t help but see so many companies sprinting towards voice-integration (thanks, Google!) and connectedness that rest assured the IoT is well on its way to becoming a Thing in itself.

While all of that is very exciting and everyone’s competing to become Masters of the Universe, who is really watching out for how complex and integrated an IOT-world will feel to its participants?

A connected home sounds really great and oh-so-easy!, but not if it means you have to manage 25 apps just to walk in the door. And what about the over-engineering of apps and services? Do I really need to have an app that controls my light-switches in “real time” when I can just walk over and turn it on?

While no one has an exact idea what the IOT will manifest, we can project a few glimpses into the future based on our experiences with technology today. Here are 5 things to keep in mind to help you navigate a fully-connected future.

  1. Focus more on your data, less on devices

As the number of connected things in our lives start to multiply, so will the platforms and applications that run on those platforms. Every time you create a new profile or become a customer to a company that creates an app, they will also have your data.

With the recent introduction of Apple’s HomePod, that will make 3 possible in-home assistants you can buy to help you manage all your connected devices and services (can you see the fragmentation already?) The question then becomes, how many companies, apps and devices will you need in your life to do all this connected wizardry? And how many of them will have your data?

Point is, you might want to start thinking about how to centralize your digital life to manage the influx of choices and complexity that are coming.

  1. On-the-go will be all the time

The signs are everywhere, traditional models of working are out the window. With Forbes projecting nearly 40% of the workforce becoming “freelance” in some capacity by 2020 and the quick rise of flex-space companies like WeWork and CentrlOffice, it’s clear we are moving toward being on-the-go all the time.

It’s also no surprise that Google now has 50% of its visits from a mobile device. This means we are driving tech form factors to be mobile and move with us, and this will only continue with more wearable technology. If you’re still tied to your giant desktop or tape-to-tape computer, it’s time to let it go.

  1. Staying connected will be constant

The Cloud is amazing, but only when it’s available (We’re going to be on-the-go, all the time, remember?) In the age of the IoT, we will demand an ever-present connection to our digital lives and depending where we are, that will vary if the cloud is around or not.

Constant-connection will become more critical as more basic living functions become more tech-dependent (self-driving cars, remote-unlocking homes, remote-controlled toilet flushers, etc).

  1. Personal data should stay that way.

The risk of theft of personal information will increase exponentially as more smart devices and companies require it (Equifax anyone?). Having more control over your data will be critical and need to be managed in a secure way. Whoever is in the proxy-identity market will be very rich, very soon.

  1. Play nice in every sandbox.

Devices that can quickly innovate and interface with multiple platforms will win. We don’t see the giant technology companies getting along all of a sudden, so they will keep making products to keep users within their specific ecosystem. Unfortunately, many of us don’t only buy Google products or Apple products—so we have devices that don’t talk nice to each other. Having more smart devices that “play well with others” will mean bigger and more interesting parties and lower user-frustration and accelerate adoption.

One device that is already thinking about how to help integrate and simplify the IoT, is an ultra-portable computer that keeps you connected to your digital life at all times. Find out more about this coming-soon computer at CES.LINK.

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