Kishore S. Swaminathan is Accenture’s chief scientist and the global director of Accenture Technology Labs’ systems integration research. He is responsible for defining the company’s vision for the future of technology and setting its research and development agenda.
There is considerable business and technological momentum behind Internet of Things, also known as IoT. Gartner has put IoT way up there in its hype cycle; practically every major technology company is in the process of developing an IoT product; a number of universities in the United States, Europe and Asia have launched big R&D programs in IoT; the European Union is funding the massive Internet of Things Initiative; and China has identified IoT as a technology of national priority.
The proponents of IoT imagine a world in which billions of objects of various sorts (cameras, pacemakers, RFID tags, sprinklers—you name it) are connected to the Internet, communicating and cooperating with one another.
Why now? After all, this idea has been around for well over a decade under different names—object Internet and machine-to-machine (M2M) being two of the better known—and has occasionally been the butt of jokes (“Did you hear the one about what the toaster said to the refrigerator?”). So is this old wine in a new bottle? Or is this renewed interest based on some major new technological breakthrough?