IoT: Cutting through the hype with 50 of the world’s leading experts

Welcome to The Hype Reports, a new series of Tyto reports where we examine the most hotly anticipated trends emerging from the collision of technology, science and innovation. In this first edition, in partnership with the csuite podcast, we’re taking a closer look at the Internet of Things (IoT) as it crests the summit of Gartner’s hype cycle.

For two decades, the IoT’s promise has been the subject of countless headlines, deafening discussion and endless excitement—all of which makes it hard to see where the hype ends and the reality begins. We’re told the coming years will unleash 200 billion connected things, a trillion sensors in everyday objects and a market opportunity worth up to $11.1 trillion.

There’s certainly good reason to think smart objects will have a huge impact. Ubiquitous connectivity and machine intelligence have the potential to turn vast and complex data about our environment into actionable insights, revolutionising daily life and day-to-day business. Technology giants around the world are now fully committed to this vision of the future—and they’re investing heavily to bring it about.

From smart appliances to the zettabytes of data they’ll create, the whole lexicon of the IoT’s potential has been relentlessly discussed over the past twenty years—not least by the businesses marketing IoT platforms, services and devices.

This trend shows little sign of abating. From 2015-17, Twitter mentions of the IoT skyrocketed 135% to reach almost 17m annually. There’s a similar frenzy amongst the online media, with a recent 96% upsurge in IoT references to more than 225,000 per year. Yet too much anticipation can breed apathy, so perhaps it’s no surprise that the IoT is now poised over Gartner’s ‘trough of disillusionment’.

Will the next decade really spell disenchantment with the IoT? Alternatively, will we see its impact exceed even the most positive predictions? We wanted to find out.

To understand the reality of the IoT today, its fortes and its flaws, we asked more than 50 of the world’s leading IoT influencers for their opinions. From encouraging stories about the IoT in action, to concerns over security and other challenges, the business leaders we spoke to had a lot to say about the most important and discussion-worthy areas surrounding this exciting topic.

So, it is time for me to stop writing and time for you to read the candid thoughts of more than 50 of the world’s leading IoT experts. We hope you find them as fascinating as we did.