The Next Big Thing
Posts about next generation technologies and their effect on business.

Where did the IoT come from?

I was talking with some folks about the Internet of Things the other day and they showed me some analysis that made it look like it was relatively recent.


where did the IoT come from.jpg


My view is that its foundations go back a long way. I worked on (SCADA) Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition systems back in the 80s, which were gathering data off the factory floor, analyzing it and performing predictive analytics, even way back then.

In the 70s, passive RFID came into being and one of the first places it was used was tracking cows for the department of agriculture to ensure they were given the right dosage of medicine and hormones – since cows could talk for themselves.


In the late 70s and early 80s barcodes become widely used to identify objects, allowing greater tracking of manufacturing lines as well as consumers in stores.


In the 90s, higher speed and greater range allowed for toll tags to be placed on cars, allowing for greater ease of identification but still very little use of sensors to collect additional information.


At the turn of the century, the military and Walmart required the use of RFID to track products and that caused significant increase in their adoption. About the same time, low powered sensing capabilities were developed since RFID only provided identification and the scanner provided location, people began to look at other information that could be collected like temperature, humidity as well as ways to gather information remotely like smart metering in the utilities space (although even that started much earlier).


Most technology adoption follows an S curve for investment and value generation. We’re just now entering the steep part of the S curve where the real business models and excitement is generated. It is not really all that new it is just that the capabilities have caught up with demand and that is making us think about everything differently (and proactively).

SanjayS | ‎07-25-2014 08:19 AM

 I agree on what has been stated  but we also have to consider other innovations which have contributed to the IOT as it is today like the tablets/phablets/smartphones in the wider usage and the change in the way we live today.  The advancement of technology in all disciplines like  medicine/education/finance and almost all the industries which has contributed to the usage of Internet much wider and resulted in the BIG Data boom today..

| ‎07-28-2014 12:54 PM

The abundance of technology and its adoption in new and different areas, is definitely a contributing factor. The constant march of capability advancement is the fuel for this engine of change.

ReadyForTheNet | ‎10-21-2014 04:08 AM

Good article about the evolution of IoT technologies.  Every breakthrough builds on prior foundational innovations and IoT is no different.


For IoT, I would suggest that the turning point was in the late 1990's when IoT was a major discussion topic amongst many technologists.  It was not called IoT back then and didn't really have a formal name.  I was associated with a project while at Marconi that involved the "Intelligent City".  The dream was to build a city whose "intelligence" was enabled by IoT.


Here's the link:


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