I wanted to say something intelligent about this subject, but I had very little knowledge and zero hands on until yesterday, experience the state of the iot (mid 2016) vicariously !
This is it, a $20 board I got at a meetup with wifi, a processor and a bunch of pins to interact with the real world, as well as a full online/local development environment.
This is my first project ( from setup to completion about an hour) :
What’s happening here :
- The board is connected to the local wifi network, it is also being powered by a battery ( you can power it with usb as well, but then it seems less magical).
- On my laptop, I built (copy pasted) this very basic web page :
So when you click “Turn the LED on” this happens ( anybody anywhere
on that page at that moment could have done that) :
- It can be reprogrammed (flashed) remotely ( I did it twice).
- Setting it up is a pain point
- Battery consumption is an issue. ( but might not be in the future)
- Information can flow both ways,
- not a lot of throughput. ( but might not be an issue in the future)
- will surely get smaller and cheaper ( $1 x 1 square cm in 10 yrs ?)
It might seem like a silly example, but understanding or even experiencing it live drives the concept home.
I bring this experience up, because before yesterday I had problems imaging products that used the iot, I still do, but now I think it is not because it is a flawed technology, but rather I am flawed designer, it demands both advanced network and systems knowledge ( I dabble), and it is evolving rapidly, but the challenge and the opportunity is there to design new things.
The connected toaster and coffee machine could very well be seen in a few years as naive, cute or ridiculous first steps, same as with the internet and many other technologies.