McKinsey stima che da qui al 2025 il mercato globale dell’Internet of Things potrebbe valere dai 3.900 agli 11.100 miliardi di dollari all’anno. Nella migliore delle ipotesi, si parla dell’11% dell’intera economia mondiale. Ma per arrivare a questa migliore ipotesi occorre costruire contesti, tecnologie e modelli di business che, al di là dell’entusiasmo e delle aspettative con cui ora si guarda al fenomeno, lo trasformino in una solida realtà.
No longer the realm of coffee shops and homes, Wi-Fi spans entire neighborhoods. Trains, planes and automobiles are Wi-Fi equipped. Cruise ships have Wi-Fi. Comcast has even made every customer’s router into a public Wi-Fi hotspot.
That’s good news if you’re a cell phone user. The more you email, watch Netflix, stream Pandora and surf Facebook over Wi-Fi,the fewer gigabytes you have to buy from your cell phone company. Plus, calls and texts are now able to be sent over Wi-Fi too.
So what do you need your cell phone company for?
A new generation of hotspots lets you seamlessly switch between Wi-Fi and 4G-LTE service, and they offer improved encryption. But Wi-Fi’s security issues likely won’t be resolved by 2016, Macquarie predicts.
Still, the clock is ticking for 4G.
4G’s limitations are inherent in the technology that makes it work: Airwaves are limited, and you can only cram so much data into one MHz of spectrum.
That’s why the two biggest carriers — AT&T and Verizon — place data caps on their customers. Only about one-third of U.S. cable customers have an idea of how much data they’re downloading each month on their home Wi-Fi networks, but two-thirds of wireless customers track their usage, according to Macquarie.
Verizon, for example, could be offloading as much as a quarter of its mobile data traffic onto Wi-Fi networks by 2018, Macquarie predicts, costing the company nearly $1.4 billion a year in lost revenue.
Verizon could recoup those lost sales by partnering with cable companies like Comcast. Verizon could sell Comcast its wireless airwaves, providing Comcast with a 4G “quad-play” option.
That’s why wireless carriers will likely be jockeying for position to partner with cable companies, particularly Comcast. With Sprint’s sub-par 4G network, AT&T’s ties to U-Verse, and Verizon’s FiOS and congestion issues, T-Mobile is the likeliest wireless company to win over Big Cable, Macquarie predicts
Every year or so we see a report emerge claiming Google(s goog) is contemplating life as a mobile carrier, pitting itself against Verizon(s vz) and AT&T(s t) with its own voice and mobile data plans. So far nothing has come of them, but on Thursday a new report published on The Information (subscription required) maintains Google is once again bandying the idea about, though as per usual the sources are all unnamed.
I’m still very skeptical that Google really wants to deal with the expense and grief of being a mobile operator; when was the last time you had a positive thing to say about your operator? But in the last few years Google has demonstrated that it views connectivity as a crucial element to its business.
Developed in 2004 for Italian design students, Arduino quickly became a favorite for builders and makers all over the world. With a built-in set of inputs and outputs that can be directly connected to sensors, Arduino allows for projects that interact with the environment outside the tiny microcontroller.
For this reason, many compare Arduino to Raspberry Pi, but Arduino is not a self-sufficient computer like the Pi. What Arduino can do is make electrical engineering ridiculously easy. For example, let’s say you wanted to create a simple project to make LEDs blink on and off.
On the Raspberry Pi, you’d need to install your OS and some code libraries, and that’s just the start.
Right now, the Internet is largely a human-to-human affair. That is, we humans use various devices to do things via the Internet. Soon, all sorts of devices that we never imagined would be Internet-enabled will start to come online and connect with one another. The ability for these devices to talk to other devices is colloquially known as the “Internet of Things” and 2014 promises to be a transformative year.
Among C-level executives at product manufacturers and businesses in general, the Internet of Things (IoT) will be transitioning from “what and why” to “when and how.”