SECTIONS - IoT Time
February 11, 2016

The Maker Movement Makes Moves


The IoT is an interesting beast, isn’t it? It’s growing in every direction at the same time, it seems.

The Maker Movement Makes Moves At the top, you’ve got companies like Amazon, Cisco, Intel, and Salesforce leading the way in the enterprise space. Two of these companies, incidentally, spoke at the recent IoT Evolution Expo Jan. 25 to 28 in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

And at the bottom, working up and creating the raw hardware and software that become mass market products for the big dogs are the makers. They use a number of platforms with the coolest names like Arduino, Raspberry Pi, and Yun. The makers take raw hardware gear and a vast community of knowledge to build solutions to specific challenges in their projects — or else as simple experiments to see if they can do something cool.

Both of these paths to innovation are usually popped online to share successes and setbacks with the rest of the community, so the total quality of knowledge is always improving. They aren’t always working along in a vacuum, either. Companies in the IoT like doghunter, KORE and Oracle understand how important these makers are to the growth of innovation in the industry and are providing support, encouragement, and education wherever they can.

Makers can get access to platforms like the ones mentioned above, Wi-Fi and cellular connectivity modules, sensors galore, and even (thanks to 3D printing) lovely eye-pleasing looks. This helps them make products and tools not just for the educational, hobby, and industrial folks, but also for the consumer-facing automotive and connected home markets. They are making market-ready answers to common problems and inconveniences. And that doesn’t have to make the big boys nervous. Unless you’re ignoring this movement – you’re not, are you? You wouldn’t do that, would you?

The trend is clear. If you Google “IoT and the maker movement” you’ll get 350,000 or so results. Among them you’ll find articles from Forbes and Huffington Post, and thousands of others about the powerful relationship between the IoT and the maker movement. You’ll also find one called “Who will power the IoT economy?” (Read it here: http://executive.mit.edu/blog/who-will-power-the-iot-economy#.Vip_1X6rTIV) by MIT Sloan Executive Education.

It’s all about startups and how they own so much of the leading-edge technological innovation in the IoT. In it, the author writes that some of the biggest minds in engineering and technology think that startups are where the smart money will look for real IoT innovations.

Look, this stuff is very cool, and you’d better get a hand in. Start helping them build better things, as Oracle and Cisco are doing. Hire them as fast as you can convince them to join you, because if you don’t someone else will. And you really don’t want that.

Indeed, startups are shaping the IoT economy just as much as enterprises. According to Gartner’s Maverick Research, by 2017, 50 percent of IoT solutions, which typically are comprised of a product combined with a service, will originate in startups that are less than three years old. Pete Basiliere, a research director at Gartner, points out that, “individuals and small companies that span the globe are developing IoT solutions to real-world, often niche problems. They are taking advantage of low-cost electronics, traditional manufacturing and 3D printing tools, and open- and closed-source hardware and software to create IoT devices that improve processes and lives.”

Where, do you think, all of these brainy folks inside these startups get their juice? They started out as makers, creating things that they turned into companies. And that brings us to the future.

How does your company plan to lead the IoT in 2016, and into 2020? The technology will keep getting better, as we all know, and the question that you folks have to ask yourselves is: Do you feel lucky? Well? Do you? Do you think you’ll be making the bleeding edge tech that will lead the industry, or will you simply be trying to enhance the real innovations coming up from the bottom?

I think the makers will keep leading. I think you’ll need them as partners, engineers, and strategy makers. You need to meet them, now, before it’s too late. But where, you ask? Well, if you want to meet some of the hottest makers, startups, and developers who are working on the IoT right now and thinking of the ideas that will shape the IoT in the next few years, come to the IoT Evolution Expo Developer Conference. To find out more, visit: http://www.iotevolutiondevelopers.com.




Edited by Ken Briodagh


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