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December 23, 2015updated 22 Sep 2016 11:58am

Internet of Everything, M2M & wearable tech: 10 IoT predictions for 2016

List: From security to internet protocols, the experts give their ultimate smart predictions for next year.


Billions of devices, trillions of dollars spent, and millions of connected users all around the world. 2016 will see big numbers in the IoT space, however, there are specific issues that need to be addressed before the hype goes out of control.

CBR gathers ten predictions from industry experts.


1. IoT data will be everywhere, just like electricity

John Phillips, VP of Europe, Zuora, told CBR: "In the next twelve months, data through fibre will become as important as electricity through copper. Great inventors such as Tesla, Edison and Bell turned electricity from a scientific curiosity into an essential tool for modern life, but while almost every aspect of our lives today now relies on electricity, simply electrifying and connecting things does not cut it anymore.

"Today we rely on the data networks that shape and frame our daily lives, and we want them to be more efficient, accurate and economic. As we continue to expect our technologies to integrate with us seamlessly and instantly, IoT companies – the inventors of the 21st century – will need to shift the narrative from products to the value of their ongoing service, and use data to meet the service-oriented expectations of their customers."


2. IPv6 set for take off

Kaveh Ranjbar, Chief Information Officer at the RIPE NCC, told CBR: "In 2016, we hope to see IPv6 [the next-gen internet protocol] take off with the IoT. Embracing IPv6 would mean IoT devices could incorporate end-to-end communications. It would give them the potential to be more flexible and versatile in how they’re used. IPv6 is finally taking off, and there’s a huge opportunity for the IoT to be even more deeply integrated.

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"With the exhaustion of IPv4, and IPv6 deployment reaching almost 10% globally and quickly increasing, it’s easy to see that devices using IPv4 alone may well struggle to have a long-term future. If the IoT embraces IPv6, we could see a whole new level of possibility for everything from smart cities to smart cars and beyond."


3. Wearables and business solutions will fuel IoT

Neil Bramley, Head of SMB for Toshiba, told CBR: "The immediate growth of IoT will be fuelled by wearable devices, with the real-time tangible benefits proving popular with users. Whether it is a typical office worker being able to quickly scan emails while in a meeting, or a doctor having the ability to monitor patients throughout the day without them having to physically come to the hospital, wearable devices will be the first to bring game-changing value across multiple sectors.

"While the tech-savvy Generation Z will help fuel consumer interest in IoT, it will be business solutions that take centre stage next year as companies look to gain the competitive edge offered by these new technologies."


4. Security to stay at the heart of IoT industry’s main considerations

Neil Bramley, Head of SMB for Toshiba, told CBR: "Security needs to be the key consideration around IoT in 2016 – with an ever-increasing array of connected devices reaching a greater audience, businesses face a substantially bigger ‘attack surface’, making data protection even more challenging. This is particularly the case with application security, with apps the primary route through which IoT solutions will be controlled.

"Currently, apps often lack the sophistication the wider hosting platform is able to offer – passwords alone are no longer sufficient given the increased professionalism of hackers and the privacy issues around some of the business critical or personal data that wearables in particular can store. Instead, developers need to be more security conscious, creating smarter apps which can detect and respond to potential threats."


5. VR will bring new digital worlds

St.John Dunne, US MD of Rockpool Digital, said: "Virtual reality is set to finally deliver its promise with the Oculus Rift finally being released in 2016. But arguably more interesting is the value-end Google Cardboard, and the still sensibly priced Samsung Gear VR, using the features of the smartphone to deliver VR to the mass-market. "

Avaya’s European CTO, Aaron Miller, said: "One of places we will be able to watch the virtual reality scene play out is in the sports field where the technology is set to revolutionise the fan experience. It’s virtual reality that will provide the red button experience for sports fans both in the stadium and at home.

"As we move into 2016, businesses would be wise to consider how ‘soon to follow’ business applications of virtual reality might play out in the business world and the networks needed to support them."

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