The Internet of Things Mystery: where are the consumers?

What’s a trillion between friends? Cisco and GE have both published analysis of the IoT recently (see Mark’s post on GE’s report here and Cisco’s original White Paper on the topic here) which suggests the market is worth respectively $14 trillion or $15 trillion.

But those folks still waiting for their internet fridge may have a bit of a  wait yet – one outstanding feature of both reports is that they assume the immediate markets are largely industrial/B2B. Manufacturing, energy/utilities, transportation, healthcare, these are the poster boys of the IoT roll out, and the efficiency gains that connected devices allow drive the market valuations for IoT.

Behind all the noise about industrial applications, however, an increasing number of very familiar names are offering products based on connected devices. Nike (Nike Plus), Belkin (WeMo) and Phillips (Hue) all have products that improve consumer experience through internet connection. IoT functionality is very firmly on the product roadmap for nearly every  manufacturer of appliances and consumer electronics.

The most interesting piece of the jigsaw for us at BLN is the simple question: what are the great new business ideas that IoT devices will allow to fly? What will be IoT equivalent of Amazon, Google, Facebook: all business models that simply didn’t, couldn’t exist before the internet? There’s a great deal of work to be done to build those new businesses, so we’re looking forward to hearing some of the earliest entrants to the market consider how to make a successful business from IoT at the IoT13 conference in Cambridge on 27th June.

We still have some speaker slots available: if you know a company building an interesting business in the Internet of Things, we’d love to hear from you. Just drop us a line.