Internet of Things Evolution

A good way to think about the Internet of Things (IoT) is as a massive graph of nodes where machines, people, vehicles and even animals have unique identifiers that automatically communicate sensory data over a network.  With the convergence of the Internet, wireless and micro-electromechanical devices, IoT technologies are enabling a massive new wave innovation.

This technology provides large quantities of sensory data (artificially seeing, listening, tasting, touching and smelling) from a vast number of devices across the planet.  One of the key attributes of IoT is that it does not require human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction to capture or transmit data. This greatly enhances the frequency and accuracy of data collection and allows insightful interpretation through predictive analytics. These micro devices have the ability to transfer data over a network in a machine-to-machine communication format and can come in the form of IP enabled washing machines, heart monitor implants, driverless vehicles and even bio-chipped farm animals. These are only a few of the many applications that are being deployed world-wide.  While the shear quantity of data collected is not intensely interesting, the analytical insights that can be interpreted and predicted from the data is where the real value lies.

Another well-known IoT application is SmartMeter technology.  SmartMeters have real-time sensory capabilities that monitor and communicate home and business energy usage statistics every 30 seconds. This application greatly enhances the ability to understand and optimize energy usage on a very granular level.

Likewise, the amount of intelligent optimizations that other IoT applications can provide the planet is massive. McKinsey estimates the IoT market to be over $6 Trillion in revenue by 2025. The driver of this growth comes from the fact that IoT technology enables optimization of scare resources. Energy, air quality, water, highways and even physical search can be optimized through IoT.  Examples include:

  1. Today, highway traffic during the busiest rush hour only utilized 15% of the available highway capacity.  With IoT, more granular machine-to-machine data will make traffic and accidents a thing of the past and also allow vehicle volumes to increase.
  2. IoT will ease the impacts of Global Warming.  By better understanding  environmental impacts and optimizing energy load-balancing, significant pollution can be eliminated.
  3. Things around the house will get easier too. Once every household object has an IP address, finding your keys, optimizing heating/cooling or running your washer will be more intelligently controlled.


It is clear that IoT creates explosive opportunities through the capture and analysis of massive quantities of data.  Let’s look at some numbers.  The total information on the Internet is currently 4000 exabytes, which is the equivalent of 4 billion terabytes.  With the introduction of the Internet of Things, we will be counting data in the zettabytes(10247) and eventually yottabyes.(10248).

One of the challenges to implement IoT technology is creating an infrastructure that can capture, organize and analyze the vast amounts of data into meaningful insights.  Most corporations do not have the skill or the infrastructure to deal with this situation.

For most corporations, cloud computing holds the key to managing the new staggering data volumes. New on-demand infrastructure through the cloud will help manage the additional storage requirements through Database as a Service technologies.  While data storage is a critical component, predictive analytics will play a significant role in determining useful insights from these massive databases. New technologies like Hadoop, Map and Reduce will all help structure and manage these IoT repositories.  Likewise, Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) providers such as Amazon, Cloudera and GoGrid will play an important part in this unfolding marketplace.


As with any new powerful technology, there are risks to society if not managed and governed properly. With all this new data and predictive analytic insight, individual privacy concerns will be elevated to the highest levels.  Questions around how this data be used, who will have access to it and how the information will be safe-guarded will all be at the forefront of society’s mind.  Also, with this type of information, the threat of potential terrorist attacks will become even more dangerous if these resources fall into the wrong hands.

The Internet of Things represents exciting opportunities for consumers and businesses and is going to cause another fundamental shift in mankind’s evolution.  If your company is looking to capitalize on this massive technological convergence or requires assistance in planning for IoT infrastructure, HBSC Strategic Services can help.  Please contact us at or call us at 415-715-8767.

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