Forget the CES hype, IoT is all about industry

Don’t let the excitement around CES distract you, the real future of IoT lies in business and industrial applications.

the CES hype

the CES hype

This week the gadget industry descends up on Las Vegas for the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES). And as in the previous few years, 2018’s CES is chock-full of smart devices of every stripe. Some seem very cool, others unutterably silly, and a tiny percentage might be actually useful. A few will find market success, and many more will never actually hit the market at all.

In addition to all the new product previews, this year’s CES is full of summits, seminars, presentations and other sessions devoted to helping consumer products companies make, sell, deploy and monetize everything from smart cars and smart homes to smart cities.

But I’m here to tell you that none of that really matters much to the future of the Internet of Things (IoT). Nope, despite the CES hype, the IoT is really all about industrial and business devices, networks and applications.

Consumer IoT can be silly

Here’s the thing: The consumer side of IoT is consumed by the faddish and spectacular, not the everyday and useful. Just consider the kind of IoT products that have been featured at CES in previous years: There was the infamous smart toothbrush (expect more of those this year, too), not to mention smart hairbrushes and refrigerators. Not exactly must-haves for most people.