Moving from connected devices to connected systems

GigaOmPro looks beyond the smartphone in the growing world of connected devices. From the decidedly geeky topic of the Internet of Things to the more pedestrian e-book readers, everything is going to be connected at some point. As the connections get more sophisticated the ramifications for both economies and individual lifestyles increase dramatically.

The article points to a recent report by ISH that concludes: “web-capable consumer electronics such as media tablets, televisions and Blu-Ray players will outsell traditional PCs in 2013 — just under two years from now. This category is fast growing, with expected sales of 503.6 million units in 2013, up from 161 million in 2010. Half a billion consumer electronics devices are still just a drop in the bucket as compared to 50 billion.”

Internet-enabled consumer electronics devices are products that enable users to connect to the extensive universe of the Internet, where they can then view, share or download content. Examples of these devices are televisions, Blu-ray players, game consoles, set-top boxes, digital media adapters and media tablets. Excluded from this category are other devices that can connect to the Internet like PCs and smartphones, which are tracked separately as data processing and wireless communications equipment, respectively.

Also from the report: “These new figures are the latest evidence that the Internet is not just for PCs anymore,” said Jordan Selburn, principal analyst for consumer platforms at IHS. “The Internet now is revolutionizing the consumer electronics business by delivering a range of products that can bring web-based content to homes. Increasingly, each Internet-enabled consumer electronics device is vying to become the center of what is known as the digital living room, aggregating content throughout the home and serving up movies, television programs, videos and music. In the future, consumers will be more likely to access the Internet through their televisions than via their PCs.”

GigaOM describes the obvious connected devices: media tablets, video game consoles, Blu-Ray players and smart TVs, E-readers and cameras.  But it gets more interesting when they explore the less obvious devices:

  • “Smart homes. This category adds a number of subcategories and devices: One single smart home has the potential to add dozens of connections. A home security component might add half a dozen connected cameras, for example. Electronic door locks, intelligent thermostats and smart irrigation systems could add more, as could smart power meters.
  • Health care devices. More self-monitoring systems are expected as wearable devices with web connectivity capture, log and report health data such as heart status, blood pressure, weight, blood sugar and other key health metrics.
  • Automobiles. Cars with dedicated Internet connections aren’t just for the kids to play online while their parents do the driving: These can help with real-time traffic information on the road ahead. Car manufacturers could also use a web connection to proactively monitor automobiles for potential problems and either inform the driver directly or generate a warning sign in the vehicle. The growth of hybrid and electric vehicles could benefit as well, through the creation of smartphone applications that interface directly with a connected car, helping to monitor power requirements and helping drivers find the next-closest charging station. Ford, GM and Toyota appear to lead these connected efforts.”

You could also add the smart grid to the list but you can see the jump from obvious to less obvious also represents a jump from single connected devices to connected systems. Connected systems have broad based impact on economies and lifestyles that represent the real power of the connected planet.

About Daniel Davenport

Daniel is a digital media executive with internet and broadcast experience. Daniel is currently the executive strategy director at THINK Interactive.

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