Clint Boulton: Internet of Things Consortium and CIO's

9/01/2013 - 16:32

Source: "Why should CIOs care? The consumerization of IT, of course. Though the consortium’s companies are building wristwatches and software that allows users to control their TVs from their phones, the foundational technologies and processes these companies create could be used to build enterprise products in the future. And James Canton, who runs the Institute for Global Futures think tank, said that CIOs should pay attention to and educate themselves about the Internet of Things because supply chains will increasingly be loaded with sensors, which could impact how CIOs interact with their suppliers.

But CIOs needn’t attend CES to get an idea of how such connected objects will help them compete in their respective markets. CIOs can begin experimenting with products such as Twine, a $99 rubber gadget from Supermechanical LLC whose sensors detect changes in temperature or vibration and send text messages to the user through a Wi-Fi connection. The company said ordinary people can use the device to create useful alerts, notifying them when the laundry is done or a garage door is left open.
CIOs can also look to Electric Imp, which makes a small card on which resides a processor and a wireless antenna, that can be inserted into compatible devices, connecting them to the Internet. It can be used to create an array of customized apps that do just about anything—such as turning on your coffee maker with a text message, according to a Mashable video on the Electric Imp website. The company, which received $7.9 million in funding from Redpoint Ventures and Lowercase Capital last year, analyzes data collected by each card and offers application frameworks for developers. Electric Imp is starting to partner with vendors in diverse sectors, including home automation, real estate management and heating, cooling and air conditioning systems. Consumers can purchase Imp cards for $25 each, though the company discounts its cards for manufacturers who buy in bulk.
Given that the goal for the Internet of Things is to Web-enable just about everything, the market potential appears large, said Gartner analyst Steve Prentice. Gartner said in October that it expects the Internet of Things will evolve into the Internet of Everything by 2015, with 30 billion devices in the market by 2020. Mr. Prentice said he can’t put a market value on the phenomenon because he can only count the objects he can anticipate, and new Web-enabled devices are popping up regularly. “At the end of the day the largest proportion of devices that get attached to the Internet of Things will be stuff we haven’t talked about,” Mr. Prentice said.