2014 will mark the year, the “Connected Home” (aka, “The Internet of Things”) will begin its ascent from the Early Adopter stage to the Early Majority stage (as defined by Geoffrey Moore in Crossing the Chasm, 2002, Harper Collins). Google’s acquisition of Nest, the emergence of new innovators including LIFX for lighting, Lockitron for locks, and whole home system integrator (e.g, SmartThings) combined with products from AT&T, Crockpot, Samsung, LG and other manufacturers will gain momentum and begin its path to commonplace by the end of this year. Bosch Software Innovations predicts that 6 billion devices will have internet connectivity by 2015.
The key to the build up will be in the overall design, connectivity and simplicity of these products and applications. As Neat’s success came largely as a result of its exceptional ease of use, so too will others in this space. The clear winner will be the one that offers plug and play functionality for all the elements of the connected home.
The upside opportunities are endless: increased security, energy savings, economic stimulus via increased manufacturing output, consumer sales, etc. However, there is a downside: once everything is connected, how do we throttle the power held by those that own the connections?
I don’t expect ubiquity in 2014, but rather the beginning of the run up. Let the games begin….