Internet connectivity isn’t just for people anymore. The number of connected devices on The Internet has long surpassed the number of people on the planet, with more than 10 billion connected devices. Today, hundreds of millions of those devices are autonomous things: everything from smart meters to automobiles are being connected to enable new business cases in energy, insurance, transportation, and many other verticals. As the Internet of Things matures, more than 50 Billion devices will integrate sensors, actuators, microprocessors, and communications to eliminate waste, increase productivity, and improve the customer experience.
Wireless innovation combined with economies of scale continues to reduce the cost of integrating connectivity into products. The low cost of adding IoT connectivity to products means that as the Internet of Things grows, network effects will enable new applications and use cases to emerge. There will be an explosion of new products and services as product designers exploit the inherent connectivity of intelligent devices.
Just as dedicated applications processors enabled mass smartphone deployment, IoT applications need a purpose-built platform to interface with local sensors and peripherals, process information, and manage connectivity. IoT solutions must be very low power, as the vast majority of IoT applications must run for extended periods of time on a primary battery – due to lack of availability of mains power, inconvenience and/or cost of charging, or mobility requirements. IoT devices for mass deployment must also feature low cost; small devices such as smoke detectors cannot absorb today’s high component costs if they are to be commercially viable. Additionally, IoT devices must incorporate energy efficient security measures to protect the manufacturer’s IP as well as the user’s data. These are just a few of the features that IoT platforms must possess to create useful, successful IoT products that end users can trust.