Why smart device growth is expected to mimic the smartphone craze
To say that there is an overabundance of technology in our world would be an understatement. After all, there’s even a smart crockpot by Belkin that can be controlled from out of the home.
However, while it certainly seems that there’s a market for every novel idea out there, it’s not so simple to foretell which will hit and which will miss. After all, even smartphones weren’t a hit out of the gate. Infact, by the end of 2009, only 21 percent of America’s wireless subscribers were using smartphones, according to a study by Nielsen. Now, nearly two-thirds of Americans have bought into the technology, according to the Pew Research Center.
The fact that smartphones caught on in such a big way (according to a 2015 report by Bruan, 36 percent of respondents admitted that they constantly check their smartphones), gives impetus to the likelihood that other IoT-connected tech will also become staples one day.
The smartphone craze started in 2007 when Apple introduced the first rendition of the iPhone. It was sleek, innovative and something that mobile phone consumers had never seen before. Before the iPhone, smartphones weren’t something that most people owned; they were tools for business people. This new device set the stage for Google, LG and Samsung to jump on the bandwagon; their added innovations included improved operating systems, the ability to add in third-party apps, and faster Internet access paired with an easy-to-use interface. In other words, the standard had changed — and by a long shot. According to eMarketer, by 2016, some 2 billion consumers worldwide will own smartphones.
While it may now be hard for some to imagine life without smartphones, one must remember that the evolution of massive smartphone usage took course over a decade, if not longer. We are currently in the middle of a similar growth with regards to less-standard IoT-connected technology, such as connected thermostats, lights and even door locks — all new smart home innovations that have recently hit the market.
Much like smartphones back when they were in their infancy, these sort of connected devices are steadily catching on. Right now, 90 percent of consumers attribute safety as the main driver behind their desire to buy smart devices. Therefore, devices such as smart locks, lights and cameras are slightly more popular.
Just as technology will continue to evolve, so too will the networks that enable device connectivity. 4G LTE is today’s standard non-Wi-Fi network for connected tech, and will likely continue to reign into the foreseeable future. Though Wi-Fi provides a strong, short-range home connection, 4G LTE comes with its own superior benefits. For one, it’s more reliable: Since a vast majority of cellphone providers deem 4G LTE their standard network, a connection is usually available most places.
What’s more, devices will stay connected despite a power outage, which is not the case with Wi-Fi usage. Also, LTE signals have a longer range, so a connection between a device and a user’s phone can be achieved from a far greater distance. Lastly, LTE is inherently safer since it is not linked to the user’s home network. While the likelihood of one’s home being hacked is low, more devices connected to Wi-Fi provide more access points where hackers can intrude. Thus, the fewer devices directly linked to the user’s home network, the better.
One cannot say with complete certainty which technologies will stick around and which will hit the road. However, when the next “smartphone” does hit the market, it is 4G LTE will ensure a reliable, safe and robust connection.
Interested in hearing industry leaders discuss subjects like this and sharing their IoT use-cases? Attend the IoT Tech Expo World Series events with upcoming shows in Silicon Valley, London and Amsterdam to learn more.
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