Kudos are in order today as we note this piece by Deepak Karambelkar at Gulfnews.com, which offers some temperance to the smart home discussion. We, of course, are fans of a tempered mindset when it comes to connected devices. We’ve been in this business too long to be otherwise.
Long and short, Mr. Karambelkar discusses how the Internet-of-Things markets itself as a means toward a whole new level of “fun” for at-home DIY-ers.
The mantra is simple — make the IoT appliance easy to customize and run, add a dash of adventure, keep the costs low, and bingo! — regular customers will soon smarten up their homes with these tiny devices.
What we like about his perspective, if we can read between the lines a bit, is a tacit acknowledgement that some of this stuff just may not take hold. Karambelkar adeptly sums up a similar point that Alex Brisbourne made in his Forbes article: “Without a strong value proposition, most of these IoT gadgets will end up as novelty items whose lustre will wear off soon.”
Deepak goes on to note the potential for unintended consequences that could arise by connecting too many things—personal things—to the Internet. “Security and privacy issues remain to be ironed out. IoT-enabled appliances that capture and analyze information can certainly help improve your life; but, in the wrong hands, that data can have unforeseen consequences.”
Security is indeed an issue that must be vetted more completely, but the M2M environment does hold a distinct advantage: it is already very closed. There is no direct extension of the Web going into these devices. Rather, they typically route data to and from specific network resources on a dedicated network, with quite complex challenges to getting into and out of those domains. There are architectural differences built into the M2M platform that transcend the level of how humans connect the Internet.
In addition, M2M device data streams are often subject to security processes that go far beyond simple end-point ingress protection – two examples are Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) for remote payment processing, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) looking over utility applications such as Automated Metering and Demand Response. There is certainly room to consider expanding these security standards to all such connected devices.
It is of course gratifying to see like-minded opinions emerge from the blogsphere, and we are particularly amused by Deepak’s subtle style. He seems to question the absolute bankability of widespread consumer IoT applications without directly doing so; we applaud his technique as well as his ability to make us think.
By Stein Soelberg, Director of Marketing
Follow Stein on Twitter: @sesoelberg
Stein leads a team whose responsibility is to own the branding, advertising, customer engagement, loyalty, partnership and public relations initiatives designed to propel KORE into the 21st century. With over 15 years of technology marketing experience in the business to business software, Internet services and telecommunications industries, Stein brings a proven track record of launching successful MVNOs and building those brands into leaders.