Over the last month I’ve been struggling with the Internet of Things. My scale has an internet connection, my TV has an internet connection, my toe has an internet connection and soon my watch will have an internet connection and managing the WIFI passwords and connectivity was a Pain-in-the-Ass.
I kept telling my wife that we need a better solution.
Turns out two very interesting technology trends are going to radically remake the internet of things.
The first is that 4G LTE chips are really cheap. For those not in the know, it used to be the case that building a chip that could do cellular was black-magic, but with 4G LTE this is no longer the case. Thus the how do I connect to the internet is really a how do I make a cellular call and that’s a much simpler user experience.
The second is that BlueTooth LE is transformative. If you think about the internet of things, the things are actually generating a small amount of data very frequently or infrequently. For devices that don’t have enough power to justify placing a 4G LTE chip, BlueTooth LE is a really interesting alternative. BlueTooth LE, if you believe the marketing buzz, will allow a device to transmit longer than the life time of the battery without requiring a battery replacement. Given the range of BlueTooth LE and the existence of the ultimate BlueTooth LE receiver – your cell phone, I can totally imagine a combination of BlueTooth LE talking transparently to your cell phone and your cell phone talking transparently to the internet to transmit the data.
The core objection I had to Internet of Things seems to be addressable with existing technology that is going to market right now.