Five Ways The Internet Of Things Is Already Broken—And How To Fix It

Leo Mirani | Quartz | September 23, 2014

There are some 10 billion internet-connected devices in the world today. These include phones, computers, cars, and the assorted grab-bag of devices that fall under the rubric of the “internet of things” (IoT). By 2050, there will be over 100 billion internet-connected devices. The vast majority of those will be “things”: lightbulbs, doorknobs, coffee machines, and, yes, fridges.

But there are some big obstacles before the internet of things can become a viable business. A recent research paper from IBM lays out the top five:
1) Cost

If IoT devices are to sell at scale, they need to be cheap enough to replace the “dumb” devices they’re replacing, whether those are lightbulbs or keychains. If they are cheap, the businesses that make them need sources of revenue beyond the product itself. And customers will want service and maintenance. But “the cost of supporting and serving billions of smart devices will be substantial—even something as simple as maintaining centralized servers that distribute regular software updates,” write the authors of IBM’s paper...