Iot (Internet of Things), $7 Trillion, $14 Trillion or $19 Trillion? A personal look


Internet of Things market to hit $7.1 trillion by 2020: IDC

Mar 14, 2013 – SAN JOSE, Calif. –Cisco Systems is gearing up for what it claims could be $14 trillion opportunity with the Internet of Things.

The Internet of Things: 19 Trillion Dollar Market – Bloomberg

There is a lot being made of IoT.  Claims are from billions of devices to trillions of dollars in value.  A lot of this value is in the industrial part of IoT not the consumer side. The industrial side of IoT is actually well along and pretty much a given in my opinion.  There is a lot of good economic reasons to instrument and be able to control almost everything in the commercial industrial side of the world.  Industry is about fine tuning costs, managing operation, reusing and longevity.  They don’t usually buy the cheap version of things.  They buy the $1,000 hammers, the $13 light bulbs, switches that are instrumented so they can turn anything on or off automatically.  Robotics, vehicles, tools of all types, everything in commercial buildings all are potentially useful by connecting to the cloud and have demonstrable payback and value.  I have no doubt this market is trillions of dollars and billions of devices alone.  That’s a no-brainer to me.

IoT Technology

At WSO2 we have customers doing things such as instrumenting industrial tools as IoTs  for optimizing construction workplaces, connected car project, connected UAV’s and other IoT solutions for business.  IoTs need special software connectors, back end software to manage their flaky connectedness, technology to help them with security of IoT.  WSO2 has a powerful open source IoT story that if you are building IoT for consumers or industry you should know about.  I will write a blog entry about the whole IoT space describing how I see the layers of the technology, security aspects, how to manage communication, battery life and how to design an IoT base level that will enhance security and yet give powerful network effects.  Apple has patented security technology that would allow you to access your devices more intimately when you are at home than if you aren’t at home.  There are a lot of ideas floating around about how this technology should work, how it should be secured.  I will try to make sense of it.  The business side of IOT  is a well established and exciting business already.

I categorize IoT into the following Categories

Connected car:  There are many reasons to believe a connected car makes an incredible amount of sense.   Tesla has demonstrated the value of cars that can be operated by an app remotely, cars that can update themselves, collecting bigdata from cars to improve their service and performance.  A connected car can be smart.   A non-Telsa company doing this is called Automatic which is gaining a lot of interest among ICE car owners.   Numerous manufacturers have announced connected cars and some manufacturers saying their entire fleets will be connected soon.   There is reason to believe this movement will be extremely successful and it will have legs because of improvements in sensors for the car and self-driving capabilities.   There is no doubt Tesla has led the way and proven the connected car makes tremendous sense.

Connected home: It is yet to be seen how far the consumer will take the connected home.   A fully connected home could have its power, water, gas, wifi and sensors for intrusion along windows and doors, locks for doors or safes, pool, HVAC, lighting, entertainment equipment, computers and all the appliances connected.   In addition, things like IoT hubs, shades, window transparency control, vacuum cleaners, lawnmowers, irrigation systems could present an amazing high-tech lifestyle.   How much convenience these things might actually provide is unknown.   The cost of such a retrofit to a home might be exorbitant but specific items will undoubtedly prove economical and power significant growth.   I have a friend in Geneva who took a smart lawn mower and made it even smarter and more responsive by turning it into a connected lawnmower.  I have no doubt many of our at home devices will become connected as a default.

Connected business:  Business will adopt IoT rapidly because most businesses already have automated systems for lighting, hvac, security and other systems.  Many businesses have automated connected factories.  Many of these will convert to the new IoT standards if they emerge due to the cost improvements and improved functionality from interconnectedness.   An important addition for businesses is getting overall health and status of all your IoT devices.   Also, businesses will probably greatly expand things like connected shipping and logistics.  BigData connected to IoT in the business can help them improve products, improve performance, select vendors.

Connected health:  Health was one of the original IoT hot spots.  The fitness devices were early sellers but it is thought that many of these are saturated markets now.    I have hope that new devices for monitoring patients will reduce hospital stays, improve quality of care and dramatically do things like lower the cost of drug trials.  However, I doubt that 2015 will see this come about.   Apple will introduce health features on its watch that will invigorate the market a bit but I think this is more a 2016 story than a 2015 story.

Connected Person:  This refers to individual devices.  Who knows what is in this category?  Toys?  Drones?  Sports devices, devices to make life more convenient, more sociable.   We always seem to buy up the social.   One reason I knew for sure that smartphones would be a massive thing was I understood that people are fundamentally social and having that ability to be social all the time would be soaked up by some.   Any devices that enhance social will be scarfed up in my opinion.   2015 may be the year of the social IoT devices.


IoT I have bought:

iphone5s_silver_portrait My Smartphonebuy

… I believe this is an IoT but it is a “centerpiece” and I’m not sure it counts.  Jeff Clavier a noted VC in IoT space says the smartphone is the whole reason for IoT and that it wouldn’t exist without the ability of IoT devices to talk directly or indirectly with a smartphone.   I am not 100% in sync with Jeff but I would agree it is a central piece of the puzzle.

tesla-model-s-6 Teslabuy

I love my IoT Tesla.  I could never go back to an ICE after owning the Tesla.   The mere thought of having to buy gasoline, deal with all the problems of the ICE technology seems like a step back.  I love the fact my Tesla self-updates and look forward to my next set of improvements free of charge.  I love the fact it is always connected and I can find out its status and control the car remotely.   From my perspective there is no downside to the Tesla other than initial cost but it is not different than other luxury sedans.  I love the fact that Telsa gets information from my car that helps them provide better service and to build more reliable cars.   I am 100% sure that Elon has made the case for connected cars and I expect over the next 5 years almost every car will be connected.  He has proven this makes complete sense.

This is a good example of a consumer IoT device done right that recommends the whole idea.

wemo Wemo smart switchesbuy

I have found these to be useful in limited scenarios for things I want to schedule or control regularly like outside lighting.   I had automated a previous house I owned a long time ago before the “IoT” idea came about, the smartphone or even the internet embarrassingly.  I was able to control everything from my computer.   I had written a cute program that I could program light configurations, heating programs and anything else I wanted.  Every light and plug in the house was automated.  The thermostat was programmable through a novel device which fooled the manual heater to go on or off.  Programming the heat was pretty handy and saved money.  I had the ability to type a command at my computer command line which would turn the house into “party mode” or “living” or “go to bed.”   By the side of my bed I had a button I could press to turn off every light in the house.  Similar buttons on tables around the house allowed me to easily turn off all the lights or on in any area of the house.  I could also program dimmers.    Those were pretty useful functions but I am not sure worth the cost of thousands of dollars.   Being recently out of college I found it amusing to turn the lights off when people were in the bathroom and wait for the scream.  Chuckles.  (I admit it was juvenile)   I don’t think this was mass-market utility.  It was demonstration you could do things like that but subsequent houses I have not had the desire to automate in this way.   I just don’t think it was worth all that much.

Bodymedia_armband_link BodyMedia LINK armbandbuy

There are a whole bunch of fitness bands that basically work by looking at motion.  I have used the BodyMedia LINK band and I give this a high rating by comparison.  It measures not only motion but skin capacitance and heat flux and I believe a derivative of heat flux.  That enables the device to produce much more accurate numbers for the energy consumed by an activity and sleep quality.  I find the motion bands useless by comparison and deceptive.   They are not worth the money.  Armbands and clip type devices can be forgotten and are not worn as long.  They are more obtrusive I think.  The result is the ones I tried never got used consistently.  Only the BodyMedia I wore all the time.   I also like the integration with multiple web sites for fitness and food consumption.    BodyMedia was acquired by Jawbone and it interfaces via the UP compatible applications, APIs and SDKs.

smartmeterPG & E SmartMeterbuy

The smartmeter is included with PG&E service.  Using analytics provided by PG&E through a partner Opower I have lowered my average PGE bill 20-30%.  It is zigbee compatible!

dvrAT&T DVRbuy

This is another gimmee in that AT&T includes this as do other cable companies and allows you to do myriad of things remotely to your DVR including watching programs remotely.

vantage vue weather station Weather Envoy 06316Davis Vantage Vue Wireless Solar Powered Weather Station buy

This remarkable device allows you to measure everything you can imagine about the weather, is expandable with numerous options and publishes to so you can track the weather at your home from anywhere.   What you need to have a complete weather station IoT is the following:   Davis Vantage Vue, Davis Wireless Weather Envoy, USB Data logger, purchase Weathersnoop and use the  Weatherunderground service.   Why have your own weather station?   For one reason you have information on your local environment you can use to trigger interesting automation events.   For instance, if the wind or temperature, luminance, rain or pool temperature reaches certain limits you can trigger appropriate actions or warnings.   You can use this information to affect your shades, watering of plants, heating system or cooling system parameters or other functional parts of your house.



 Lynx7000yale_b1zZ-HON-5877GDPK-KT1-2Automated Secure Home buy

I chose a Z-wave based system over proprietary systems as well as other systems because Z-wave seems to have the most complete set of devices for security.   Lynx 7000 from Honeywell supports Z-wave as well as its own proprietary devices.   The Lynx has the advantage that it can be linked to the internet with a 3rd party security company at far lower prices than the traditional ADT approach.   TotalConnect2 is available from $10 -> $30 / month depending on the level of service that you want.   The Z-wave technology is incredibly impressive in how reliable it is.  It works over large distances and devices seem to be very reliable when connected.   I have chosen to focus on security automation first.   I was initially impressed with the Kwikset lock system but after reading more reviews I decided on a company with more experience and reputation for deadbolts, Yale.  I also felt the garage is an important area for security and automation as well as doors and windows.   I have not decided on the camera system yet but am leaning towards Dropcam after hearing some good feedback from someone else who installed it recently.


zipper_track_00005 somfy_zwave_controller Motorized shade Somfy Z-wave compatiblebuy


Motorized Blinds can be a way to reduce energy costs, improve security and privacy.   They are also pretty cool.   Unfortunately they are expensive.   A typical motorized blind is $300 more than a non-motorized version.  This can increase the cost of your window coverings substantially.   I have a gazebo in the back of my house that I want to have a motorized shade to provide shade, wind and rain protection at times.   The area to be covered is large enough that a manual system would be hard to work.   So, I have decided to go with Somfy and Z-wave.   The Somfy Zwave module can control 16 shades so even if it is pricey for one shade if you install multiples it is much more economical.   I expect to automate the shade function based on API calls to my weatherstation.

CON_SYSTXCCITN01_LargeCarrier Infinity Wireless Thermostat and Online servicebuy


The previous owner of my house purchased a Carrier HVAC system.  When I tried to hook up a standard Zwave compatible thermostat it became apparent something was awry.   The Carrier system is digital.  The thermostat talks to the furnace using a protocol not simply wires to “turn on and turn off” the furnace or air.   Fortunately, Carrier has a wireless addition to their thermostat that allows remote operation of the thermostat.   It is only a $100 option so I am pretty happy about that.


ThalmicLabsMYOpic   Myo.  buy

This device looks like it could make controlling everything pretty cool.   I am more worried that I actually find it useful.   If I do, then I may be forced to consider how to make this device acceptable fashion accessory and how to not annoy people around me.   It is not as intrusive as Google glasses but I suspect there will be problems programming it, not having it recognize motions sort of like voice recognition where I am repeating a motion over and over with bizarre things happening while I swear at it.   If it turns out to be really fun and easy to use, very functional and helpful then I will be faced with the much harder issue of how to fit it into my life and what changes it will cause.

 Lynx 7000 Smart Home Security and Z-wave control

5877PKG Garage Automation


 IoT I have placed orders

tile iot Tile buy

I have lost a lot of things during my life.  I have great hopes that Tile will actually work and provide a way to find things that I typically have misplaced at different times.  I plan to attach them to a variety of things, even my cat.  One thing I hope to track is sunglasses.  I love nice sunglasses but they always disappear.  At one point I had a $1000/year sunglass budget.  It was ridiculous.  I recently discovered my fiance has a gift for finding sunglasses.  We will be walking along trails in Hawaii or Colorado and expensive sunglasses will show up that she finds on the trails from out of nowhere.  So, I now have a negative sunglass budget and sunglasses are returning to me reborn. However, even given this good fortune I would like to see if there is a way I could actually not lose sunglasses in the first place or if there is a cosmic devourer of sunglasses that will still make my sunglasses disappear.

 noke Nokebuy

I like this idea.  At the gym, the house, bike, lots of potential uses.

bag2go-100249621-medium blue smart luggage 20141021212737-000BlueSmart Luggagebuy

Having lost luggage a few times in the last year and because I haven’t upgraded my luggage in a long time I think this is a smart thing.  I can’t wait to make my first call to Lufthansa or United airlines and tell them I know where my luggage is and I want it delivered.

IoT I am not going to Buy

hue-box-closed $60 connected light bulbs.dont buy

There is no way I am paying $60 for a light bulb no matter how smart or controllable it is!!

comcast hub Comcast Hub and connected devices.dont buy

Comcast screwed me with poor service that is indescribably bad.  I will never buy anything from them ever again if I can help it.

nest thermostat Nest thermostat and related devicesdont buy

I have no faith that Nest can learn when to heat my house.  I would like it to be programmable instead possibly the kind of automation I am looking for would be possible with IFTTT.  For instance, I want the thermostat to see that I am heading home by talking to my car.  I don’t want to have to tell the thermostat to go up.  However, this is more complicated than that.   If the time of day is during peak energy hours when I am charged 4 times as much for energy then it should not heat the house or heat it to a lower temperature.  It should know if my cat is home and heat the home for the minimum temperature the cat can tolerate when others are not there.    If a door is open it should not heat the house wastefully but tell me a door is open and won’t waste energy.   I want it to know that if temperatures are expected to rise substantially during the day today not to heat the house in the morning.  I would prefer not to waste energy during a heat wave by heating the house.   I would prefer if it knew that my cheapest energy use is till 7am and to get the house warm enough so that during the day the temperature will not fall to the point it will need to heat the house during peak hours when energy costs more.    When I can do that with a thermostat I will buy a connected thrermostat.

shirt-alert-300x225Wearable Shirt with buzzing shouldersdont buy

to help me navigate – seriously???   I am no technophobe but it is way too geeky to wear electronic clothes.  My iWatch could buzz me when it’s time to take a turn.  One buzz is right, two buzzes left.  I don’t want my clothing buzzing.

microsoft ibandMicrosoft Ibanddont buy

Complaints:  Complicated to manage.  Bulky, heavy, stiff.

solartouch_pack_d Smart Pool Pump.dont buy

I bought a variable speed intelligently controlled pool pumping system recently.  It is NOT connected to the internet.  That is fine!!!   I don’t need my pool pump connected to the internet.    It knows to reduce the speed of the pump to the minimal it needs during various functions and increase when it needs it.   I don’t need it connected to the internet or to fine tune its operation remotely.   This system has reduced my cost of electricity for the pool by 50% and raised the average temperature of my pool.  I don’t know why I would need it connected to the internet other than for the occasional ability on trips to change schedules.

IoT I might buy

Screen Shot 2015-01-19 at 10.31.13 AM    Vessyl   good idea

The vessyl will measure the amount of different liquids you consume in a day.  It can distinguish liquids with alcohol in them, sugar and even measure amounts of some things.  It charges wirelessly and will report to various apps.   It may seem stupid but I am a bit of a numbers guy and love having hard numbers to back up what I think is working or not working.   I might get it.   At $110 it isn’t TOO expensive although right on the edge of what I might pay for something like this.


kolibree Kolibree IoT Toothbrushgood idea

Really!  At first glance I totally thought this product sounded like the stupidest IoT ever.   However, reading about it I realized it actually could make sense.   I am a big believer in my electric toothbrush.  There is no question my gum and teeth have improved markedly since using the double headed OralB.  It’s like having a washing machine in my mouth.   I love my electric toothbrush.  However, the Kolibree promises to find the few little spots I sometimes miss.  If it really improves things it could easily be worth it and cool.  I’ll wait to see more reviews.

Apple_Slice Apple Hub and connected devicesgood idea

It’s hard to argue with success especially if this device combines several previous apple media products I have not purchased already it may be enough to put me over to deciding on their hub over the Ninja or Almond or other hubs that are on the horizon.

iwatchApple iWatch good idea

It’s hard to argue with success.

AirQualityEgg_EarlyPrototype AirQuality Egggood idea

Probably not unless it is improved to support particulate counts as well as gases.  Particulates are the real danger from air pollution.

NinjaSphere-663x442 Ninja Sphere good idea

This is totally cool in that it has gestures, support for multiple protocols and other cool things, besides it looks cool too.  I may do this instead of the Apple hub when I see what Apples device is capable of.  This device has the ability to use triangulation to detect where something is with great accuracy in its environment and to communicate with an extendable platform of spheramids.  Wow.  Cool.  It can apparently be programmed with cool complex IFTTT like functionality to say heat the house when you are heading home.   This looks like Apple hub has a serious competitor.

DropCam-PRO_Front_72dpi Dropcamgood idea

I would like to be able to check into the house sometimes and see what’s going on.  This seems marginally useful and the cost is reasonable.   This version comes with a lot of useful features that made previous “cams” seem like a pain.  The integration with the cloud is especially useful.   The dropcam can’t do this out of the box but a recent article in Gizmodo referred to the fact that software can be written to watch a plant or glass of water and without actually having any sound it is able to produce the sound in the room including voices intelligible enough to understand what people are saying.

 quadcopter iotpool temp sensor Toys good idea

like Quadcopters, environmental sensors for weather, etc. – Sure sounds fun


I don’t know if you agree with my personal take on these consumer IoT devices or if my shopping list is useful but it shows to me that some of these things are definitely worthwhile and some may be fads that have an initial “geek” appeal but no real lasting value.   I have a feeling we will find the consumer side of IoT will have some successes and failures but I hope that nothing fails so dramatically or has serious security problem that consumers lose interest in where this could go.

The next article Integrating IoT Devices. The IOT Landscape discusses how all these devices interplay and how you can integrate them.


Part II : Integrating IoT Devices. The IOT Landscape.



7 thoughts on “Iot (Internet of Things), $7 Trillion, $14 Trillion or $19 Trillion? A personal look

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s