For the Internet of Things to move forward significantly, more connected devices need to be able to work together.
While this may seem obvious, it’s not necessarily so easy to do.
A group pushing IoT standards has just released the findings of a survey it conducted at CES and found that, at least among this group, most people say it’s very important that their devices work together more seamlessly.
Interoperability is even more important than the brands they buy from, according to the survey of 250 attendees at CES in January, conducted by the Open Connectivity Foundation.
Attendees at CES are not average consumers but rather represent the companies that may distribute or sell IoT products to consumers. CES is the annual event where all the new gadgetry that consumers will see during the coming year are shown to those who will decide precisely which products they select to market.
Expectedly, ownership of connected devices by these attendees was relatively high, with the highest number of them owning seven or more devices.
Among this group, there is plenty of agreement that devices should work well with each other. Here’s the breakdown of how important CES attendees say that devices should interoperate and communicate seamlessly with each other:
- 63% — Very important
- 29% — Somewhat important
- 6% — Not very important
- 2% — Not important
The view of brands from which products are purchased fared somewhat differently. Here’s the importance of brand or manufacturer of a devices in the CES attendees’ decision to purchase:
- 53% — Very important, only buy from brands I trust
- 33% — Somewhat important
- 11% — Not very important
- 3% — Not important, buy on value alone
Consistent with numerous other studies, concerns about privacy are on the list of obstacles, though not at the very top. These were rated as the biggest single limiting factors to universal adoption of connected devices:
- 37% — Lack of interoperability between devices
- 26% — Concerns over security and/or privacy
- 16% — Concerns of devices being non-essential or non-valuable
- 15% — Devices cost too much
Aside from all the issues of privacy, security, interoperability and costs, the most important attribute that would improve the value of connected products to consumers was ease of use.
Anyone dabbling with a number of smart or connected objects knows that the market is not quite there yet.