The quintessential IoT trope is the toothbrush. With IoT and 5G, your toothbrush will be able to tell you if you have a cold. Or the bicycle that will let the car down the street know that you’re approaching. Or the house that knows when you’re approaching gets a scene running for you (lights on, garage door open, thermostat on, etc).
Maybe this is a pessimistic view point, but we’re probably looking at 15 years before the everything connected scenario makes sense.
What needs to happen?
- Devices need zero setup (think the equivalent of a 4G / LTE modem)
- Connectivity hardware needs to be negligible
- Sensors need to be reliable and accurate. Oh, and they also need to be cheap.
- The devices need to last indefinitely without requiring an intervention from the user to power it
The first one is probably doable today but requires some ingenuity in terms of UX. The second item — this is hard. It might require to get to 6G or beyond for the modems to be low power and cheap enough.
Our ability to interpret sensor data will improve much faster than sensor accuracy. Using lower cost sensors as might help push more ubiquity.
However, power is still a hard problem. Advances in chemistry are just not as fast as those programmatic advances like AI.
We’ll get there but it’s not going to as soon as other innovations. You’ll just need to rely on how you feel to see if you have a cold in the meantime.