Last week I supported a client at the Electronics Design Show and in our conversations with journalists the hottest topic they are reporting on is M2M or the Internet of Things.
And this week, I had a client meeting in Germany about smart homes – again another potential story about connected devices.
The opportunity is huge, with Cisco predicting back in 2011, that there will be 50 billion internet connected devices by the year 2020.
The thing is that many electronics firms have been helping clients develop M2M products for years, but haven’t necessarily used this phrase. Here we need to get old school companies to ride on the coat tails of the hype, whether they like terms such as IoT or not.
The opportunity in terms of PR is also huge. There are stories to be told about a range of subjects including data privacy, smart homes, wearables, the electronics considerations when building M2M devices/apps and new business models.
Security scare stories are always of interest. Concerns re privacy as information from one device transfers to another were highlighted by HPwhen the company recently found that 70% of Internet of Things Devices are vulnerable to attack.
There are also concerns about whether large scale M2M projects will actually work. Take the smart meter programmes across the world where there will be a billion residential smart meters in ten years’ time. In all of the machine to machine (M2M) world, the scale of the smart meter rollout (often now mandated by governments and regulators) is one of the largest. Utilities and the governments pushing this initiative need to save face and put in place early system testing to head off problems.
New business models are also high on the agenda. In the utilities sector for example, how will utilities use smart home devices to roll out new services that will reduce customer churn and differentiate them. With Apple and Google entering the smart home, the competition certainly got more interesting.
It’s definitely an exciting time for M2M and we’re looking forward to helping our clients tell their stories.