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Connected products powered by the Internet of Things (IoT) took over the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) last week, and that momentum will only continue, industry analysts predict.
IoT product providers will need to ensure services and connectivity to power these "things" are secure, with proper bandwidth to ensure they function normally. Looking ahead, IoT growth is expected to create upswings in Internet traffic and IP address consumption, according to Akamai Technologies.
However, it's now up to manufacturers and supporters to show why connected technology can impact the lives of consumers on a daily basis - and offer products that aren't overly difficult to use.
Connected technology in apartments and households show great potential as the Internet of Things (IoT) continues to mature, with consumers interested in select products more than others. The number of North American and European homes with smart thermostats increased 105 percent up to 3.2 million in 2014, according to Berg Insight.
Most of the growth occurred in North America, which saw 107 percent growth, reaching 2.5 million homes in just one year. Berg Insight believes the North America will continue to see massive growth in smart thermostats, with 24.6 million homes embracing the technology by 2019.
Nest, Honeywell and Ecobee currently lead the North American smart thermostat market, with a growing number of manufacturers and vendors joining the market. The ability for homeowners to more accurately track their utilities, and customize temperature controls, will become even more appealing as the technology matures.
CES 2015 - Diamond Multimedia is well known for their line of AMD GPUs, but recently they have started to focus more on peripherals of all sorts from 4K streaming devices to Wireless AC peripherals. To start off they are launching a powerful router, the WLR1200AC, which features dual-band (5GHz/2.4GHz) wireless 802.11AC.
Here we have the WR750AC Dual Band Range Extender and WL600AC USB network adapter, which both support the new 802.11AC wireless standard. They also support dual band 5GHz/2.4GHz. The USB adapter comes in two versions, one with the antenna and one without.
CES 2015 - BlackBerry launched its Internet of Things (IoT) platform, with an early focus on the automotive and asset tracking verticals. Using its IoT technology, users will be able to build their services on top of the IoT Platform's efficient and scalable messaging system.
"The BlackBerry IoT platform blends the technologies that have enabled BlackBerry to become a leader in both the mobile data security and embedded systems industries," said Matt Hoffman, VP of strategy and marketing of BlackBerry.
This could be a clever play by BlackBerry, as consumers and companies are showing increased interest in IoT. BlackBerry pairing its QNX Software Systems with its well-respected secure network will allow it to utilize two strengths at a time when its efforts to reclaim glory in the smartphone market has largely fallen flat.
Thirty five percent of US consumers now have at least one smart device besides their smartphone, according to a new research report from TRUSTe. Smart TVs (20 percent), in-car navigation systems (12 percent), fitness bands (5 percent) and home alarm systems (4 percent) are the most popular connected devices - but with so many different emerging products, the industry could change at a rapid pace.
However, there are concerns related to IoT, with 79 percent of consumers concerned about personal data collection, with 69 percent of users believe they should own data that is being collected. Furthermore, 27 percent of consumers also have concerns regarding security, whether from mobile devices, or the connected devices themselves.
"The Internet of Things market continues to gain traction as many consumers are embracing the convenience and benefits of connected devices," said Chris Babel, CEO of TRUSTe. "However, privacy questions over the personal data being collected, including who has access and ownership of this data is still a major concern for consumers and a big question that the industry must address moving forward."
CES 2015 - Danish company Bang & Olufsen announced its BeoSound Moment smart music system, able to adapt to listening patterns and make music and radio recommendations.
The BeoSound Moment utilizes an aluminum interface and a built-in touchscreen to make it easier for owners to browse radio stations and their own music collection. Bang & Olufsen partnered with Deezer, which has a catalog of more than 35 million songs, so there are plenty of music choices that can be provided.
In addition, a custom MoodWheel provides an easy method to find the appropriate type of music based on user moods.
CES 2015 - Delphian Systems is promoting its SecuRemote technology platform during CES 2015, showcasing the Internet of Things (IOT) automation technology. SecuRemote helps ensure OEM products, devices and sensors are interoperable for mobile users on Google Android and Apple iOS devices.
Using the SecuRemote miniaturized electronic module, connected devices are able to interconnect with smartphone, tablets and directly into the cloud. More importantly, SecuRemote provides smart devices interconnection with one another, creating a high-security network with multiple nodes.
Expect the Delphian Systems' SecuRemote to be available during Q2 this year.
CES 2015 - Waxman Industries debuts its leakSMART home water protection system that stops water leaks automatically and has the ability to shut off a home's water in less than five seconds. Using the leakSMART smartphone app, home owners also can receive updates, track water usage, and remotely manage any problems.
"leakSMART makes the smart home something practical for the average homeowner," said Larry Waxman, president and CEO of Waxman Industries, in a press statement. "leakSMART has more than a 'cool gadget factor.' With leakSMART, the everyday homeowner can prevent water leaks in their house, eliminating the possibility of water damage and the thousands of dollars of loss associated with it."
Smart technology will become more prevalent in our homes, and continues to evolve away from just gimmicky, useless features. CES will be a showcase for smart devices, though only 1.5 million households in the United States have smart-enabled devices already in place, according to NextMarket Insights.
The Internet of Things (IoT) has a large amount of momentum to start 2015, with 65 percent of American consumers reportedly moderately or extremely interested in adopting some type of smart home product, according to the Internet of Things Consortium (IoTC). There is great potential for manufacturers to sell these products to consumers, with 54 percent of consumers saying word-of-mouth is the largest consumer factor.
It is now up to manufacturers to make affordable, easy-to-use solutions, along with creating proper security protocols to keep customers safe. Constant connectivity could be a great asset, but not if customer data and privacy are at risk.
"This survey highlights that IoT is moving towards mass adoption, but that industry leaders must make their connected home solutions intuitive, simple and cost-effective to put into play," said Nate Williams, CMO of Greenwave Systems, in a press release. "Consumers don't really care how they manage their smart devices, but they want a frictionless experience - ideally with a solution that someone else installs for free - that saves them money and improves their quality of life over the long-term."
The Internet of Things (IoT) will be a multi-trillion-dollar industry with upwards of 30 billion Internet-connected devices over the next five years - and companies will need to act fast if they don't want to be left behind. Overall, the IoT market is expected to present one of the largest growth opportunities in the industry, with more hardware and software manufacturers stepping up.
As solutions begin to mature, there will be additional investors jumping on the bandwagon, only accelerating the market faster. Connected devices will take over the home, office, vehicles, and everything else as Internet-connected technologies continue to invade our daily lives, analysts predict.
"This is an enormous opportunity that will not only transform healthcare, but every other industry as well," said Jeff Kagan, wireless industry expert, in a press statement. "This is huge. In the beginning, companies in this space will have a competitive advantage. Eventually it will become commonplace and companies who are not in this IoT space will be seen as competitively disadvantaged."