Internet of Things Connected Device Overload: Are We in the Process of Jumping the Shark
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Many of you reading this may not be familiar with the term “Jump the Shark.” It originates from an episode of Happy Days in 1977 when the Fonz put on his leather jacket and water skis then jumped a shark held in a pen off of a California beach. I have seen it, not wanting to date myself I won’t say when.
The episode was truly terrible, demonstrating that the show had gotten to a point where it was reaching for anything to continue to make its main character relevant. And subsequently the term “Jump the Shark” was born. And the term is sometime used to describe situations that have reached a point in their evolution where they just seem to no longer make sense.
We get a plethora of news which comes across our email every day and recently received a notice of a connected electric toothbrush from the startup Kolibree. My first thought was “really, a smart toothbrush?” But after checking out what they are doing, it made sense (read more here).
But a connected toothbrush made me stop and wonder if we have gotten to a point where we are struggling to make our main character relevant, this main character being the ability connect things.
The tech industry has coined the phrase “Internet of Things (IoT)" and the philosophy seems to be for some products that “we’ll make it connected and then figure out why it makes sense to be connected.” That’s probably an extreme, because people that are smart enough to connect something are smart enough to figure out why it needs to be connected.
But to quote a popular movie quote, are we falling into the “If we build it, they will come” era?Where do we stop connecting stuff. Do I need smart toilet paper? (I hope not) A smart dog collar (yes, find a lost dog), smart socks (I say no, what will it tell me, my feet are too sweaty?), smart nail clippers (really, please).
What I think is going to happen is connected devices will first be adopted for enterprise and will trickle down to consumers as the tech fits. By that time it will be thoroughly tested and functional and ready for consumer prime time. Just consider the new smart connected glove from Fujita (more here). It's tech for the enterprise that one day will be made available for consumers.
And yes, we’ll continue to see stuff pop up that will make us scratch our heads. It just takes one smart person to come up with an idea, create a website, start a Kickstarter campaign, maybe get some VC money and then go create some buzz. There is no execution needed just a gee wiz persona of a great idea.
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