This is my 13th monthly IoT update.
We see from our customer data the dramatic effect that COVID-19 is having around the world, changing the patterns of our domestic and business lives and pausing some businesses entirely. Magnus Hultberg, Product Manager at Winnow Solutions, shared how his business is affected in our webinar "The Secrets of Service Monitoring". I'm impressed with how ChargedUp (Europe's largest network of phone-recharging stations) pivoted to deliver hand-sanitising stations. IoT is helping improve the management of those locked-down in rental accommodation. Will Cowell de Gruchy of Infogrid (solutions for Legionella, desk occupancy, smart cleaning) is offering pro-bono solutions (e.g. bed occupancy) to the NHS during the crisis, and thinks COVID-19 is perhaps the Black Swan event IoT needs to drive adoption, a catalyst for automation/digitisation.
For sure, the world won't return to the same "normal" after Coronavirus. The Internet has become a core utility, accelerating the adoption of several emerging technologies, including IoT. We see from our customer-engagement at DevicePilot how essential services such as food production and distribution are getting more attention: IoT in Agritech is pressing-on, and Retail logistics are under the spotlight, as well of course as Healthcare. Coronavirus is driving rapid change in the Construction industry too – typically very risk-averse – as if workers can't visit sites to survey or monitor that causes costly delay.
For IoT, COVID-19 is part of a "perfect storm". After 6 years and 300 issues, Rethink Research has ceased publishing their IoT newsletter, merging it into Networking and Energy newsletters. In a thoughtful retrospective, editor Alex Davies cited the challenge of its ever-broadening definition and applications. IoT has suffered from the Gartner Hype cycle (amusing lock-down version here) with industries stuck in the slough of despond after failing to deliver quickly-enough after too much hype. IoT has missed the numbers that Ericsson predicted in 2011 by around a factor of between 2 and 5, depending on how you define IoT, but there are now more IoT devices than humans on the planet, and that number continues to grow exponentially, driven by falling cost and rising utility. We don't talk about "Web" companies any more, because all companies are Web companies. Likewise, we won't talk about IoT companies any more, because almost all product companies are becoming connected. We see fewer predictions and more actuals.
In other news:
That's all for this month, stay safe and let's look after each other – and let us know how we can help you through these tough times.
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