2025 will be the set year where wearables and the internet of things will dominate everyday life. According to a new report conducted by the Pew Research Center, about 83% of the 1,600 industry experts surveyed believe the category will dominate the mainstream in about 11 years, but there will be slow progress to reach this level, despite today’s trends and hype about it being the next big thing.
These findings came from an online questionnaire, conducted between Nov. 25, 2013, and Jan. 13, 2014, that involved participants like technology innovators, entrepreneurs, analysts and others. Pew said that 1,606 people responded to the question: “As billions of devices, artifacts and accessories are networked, will the Internet of Things have widespread and beneficial effects on the everyday lives of the public by 2025?”
There will be three times as many internet-connected things on Earth as there are humans within the next 10 years. Not surprisingly, wearables are among the top categories expected to take off in the Internet of Things. But other areas, such as the home — people who want to control home services and appliances remotely, from thermostats to sprinklers — are high on the list, too.
So what will the benefits be according to the survey? All experts agree that enhanced health, convenience, productivity, safety and vastly more useful information for people and organizations will be the big wins for us. These resulat boil down to the usual suspects in technology utopia. Therefore the downside, like challenges to personal privacy, over-hyped expectations and tech complexity that boggles us, might be more interesting:
“The realities of this data-drenched world raise substantial concerns about privacy and people’s abilities to control their own lives. If everyday activities are monitored and people are generating informational outputs, the level of profiling and targeting will grow and amplify social, economic and political struggles.”
Harvard fellow David “Doc” Searls argues that we needn’t sacrifice our privacy in order to enjoy the advantages of connected devices.
“People’s Clouds of Things can be as personal and private as their houses (and, when encrypted, even more so),” he wrote. “They can also be far more social than any ‘social network’ because they won’t involve centralized control of the kind that Facebook, Google, and Twitter provide.”
The report is full of interesting perspectives from different types of experts. Here a more in-dept description and a download to the full report. Also, Wired has some expert opinions highlighted in this post.