The Internet of Things (IoT) continues to expand its reach into homes, businesses, social settings, and other environments, as more and more devices are connected with the purpose of gathering and sharing data.
Clearly, there are several potential benefits of IoT from a consumer standpoint. Apart from the convenience aspect, smart connected products can lead to increased energy efficiency, improved safety and security, higher product quality, etc.
But unfortunately, the current consumer IoT device landscape is still immature. For consumer IoT devices to thrive, device management capabilities need to evolve in a few ways.
IoT device management is the process of authenticating, provisioning, configuring, monitoring and maintaining the device firmware and software that provides its functional capabilities. Effective device management is critical to establishing and maintaining the health, connectivity, and security of IoT devices. IoT application vendors typically provide comprehensive device management with their solutions. But all bets are off if that application vendor goes out of business and you would like to use your devices with a similar application from a different vendor. Consumers are increasingly faced with unexpected device obsolescence and landfills are starting to fill up with expensive IoT bricks. What consumer IoT needs is a truly open IoT device management ecosystem.
Closed device enablement
Today, many connected consumer IoT devices are still sold as a part of a completely closed, vertically-integrated solution stack. The solution provides the IoT devices, network access (either LAN or cellular), perhaps an IoT gateway, and a cloud service.
All these components are knitted together by a single vendor to work together seamlessly as a part of a closed application-layer solution. For example, a smart luggage tag device might work perfectly well with the vendor’s luggage tracking application. But that luggage tag is unlikely to be compatible with any other vendor’s luggage tracking application. If you decide to switch to a different application vendor, you will need to get new luggage tags from that vendor.
Read more: The future of IoT device management