Five 2024 IoT Prognostications by Aaron Allsbrook
January 22, 2024
We are back for another fresh start and wondering where IoT will take us over the next year. In 2023, many said IoT was dead, and yet, we have more devices than ever connecting and streaming valuable information to cloud servers. Of course, during that death, many IoT companies were forced to work on their business models or shut down. During all that work, our news feeds were overwhelmed with visions of how AI would integrate into our lives. This all begs the question, what will happen in 2024?
1. AI makes IoT easier
AI is hot and working its way into our day-to-day office interactions for average users. With easy human sentence prompts, AI is now drafting cold email templates, writing legal briefs, and updating our backgrounds to include the perfect sunset. AI is doing a lot for IoT. However, using AI to tell me there is a leak behind the shower wall, notify a maintenance worker to change a degraded combiner box, or cool my building in the most energy-efficient way is still hard. Usually, a data scientist is involved; consequently, AI still has a lot of configuration to make sense of these environments. Can AI implement IoT for us by just asking? This effort of understanding and applying AI algorithms can be easier. In 2024, we will see AI make IoT easier to use!
2. Built-in connectivity
What’s more annoying than your Wi-Fi going out in your home or office? Trying to reconnect the devices that depend on that Wi-Fi once it returns. That’s the frustration the connected product market is feeling and ready to solve in 2024. This year, expect more of your products to connect and offer you an app with everything up and showing. Removing the Wi-Fi dependency lets customers have something that works without figuring things out.
3. Service Integrators all over again
SIs did well in the IoT gold rush, building many solutions from the ground up. In 2024, with many businesses tightening their purse strings and looking to ensure IoT profitability vs possibility, the strategy for delivery has to change. Ultimately, SIs will turn to software partners with deployable solutions, not piece parts for building and maintaining. Projects will be shorter, more standardized, and run and managed by others. It pains me to think of the lines of source code and hours of effort that will get shelved in place of an out-of-the-box solution.
4. Stealth scale
With venture funding for IoT drying up, we are well past the hype of connected juicers and onto the stealth IoT. Per last year’s prediction, operators installing sensors that attract little attention are now a fascinating number of IoT solutions working quietly and finding value. These solutions are sitting at an inflection point. They are capable of scaling up themselves and being repeatable for others.
5. AI leadership is meaningless
Everyone is desperate to name an AI winner, but AI is moving so fast, and so much is marketing that it’s a year to spread your bets. This means that while I was incredibly impressed by what OpenAI DALL-E did for creating images, it’s hard to know if what they are doing is how it should be done or in a way only they can do. Maybe Adobe will do it better once embedded in Photoshop, Instagram will put it in their app, and Google Slides will have cool, relevant images appear. 2024 will be a year of seeing what’s possible, not a year of seeing a leader own the market. Once upon a time, the industry was sure GE Predix would own IoT.