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IoT Buzz: Legit Business Or Next Tech Bubble Fail?

In the Internet of Things, everything needs to be connected and "smart." But, if everything is smart, how do you know what's dumb or doomed to fail?

are coming up with yet further proprietary systems for their devices.

[Read about SAP and its vision of IoT.]

In the long run, we are being faced with a bunch of independent devices that can’t be managed by a single app or protocol. Manufacturers are now being required to develop different versions for different standards, effectively increasing manufacturing and engineering costs, and reducing their market potential.

Usability And Convenience

In the Wall Street Journal, Christopher Mims wrote: "Do I really want to check a bar-graph-infested dashboard of my weekly eating activity, which is a 'feature' of the world's first smart fork? And what about the fact that every smart object I add to my life means one more device to keep charged?"

Some people are already feeling overwhelmed by the amount of devices they have around.

A typical household now contains several smartphones, a couple of tablets, a few laptop computers, game consoles, and additionally smart TV sets, alarm systems, and some type of climate control unit. For most people it is already an effort to keep the wireless devices properly charged. Just imagine if you need to charge your forks, smartwatches, wireless scales, smart sneakers, etc.

Additionally people are asking, "Why do I want my toaster talking to my fridge or my dishwasher?"

The convenience of turning the heat on remotely if we decide to come home early is one thing, but programming the coffee machine from bed to make cappuccino seems like complete nonsense. Or looking at a smartphone app while your toothbrush receives alerts about spots you missed or the pressure you applied.

Also the lack of standards means people will need to navigate between several apps to control their home devices, unless they buy everything from the toothbrush to the dishwasher by the same brand.

Do we really want everything in our lives controlled by our smartphone?

I've been using the same Citizen Skyhawk watch for the past eight years. It is smart enough: It uses solar power to charge the battery, adjusts the time automatically by radio frequency, displays two time zones plus UTC, and is made of titanium. But the most important thing for me is that it tells the time and I never have to care for it or connect it to anything.

That is smart.

[Did you miss any of the InformationWeek Conference in Las Vegas last month? Don't worry: We have you covered. Check out what our speakers had to say and see tweets from the show. Let's keep the conversation going.]

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Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer