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Poll Result: Developers Pondering the Impact of the Internet of Things (IoT)

Posted by editor on November 15, 2013 at 7:26 PM PST

In a just-completed poll, the Java.net developer community indicated that, while the Internet of Things (IoT) is something most have heard about, people are still evaluating what its impact is likely to be in the coming years and decades. A total of 124 votes were cast in the poll. The exact question and results were:

What's your view on the 'Internet of Things'?

  • 35% (43 votes) - It's going to have a revolutionary impact in coming decades
  • 28% (35 votes) - It's significant, but so are many other types of emerging technology
  • 19% (24 votes) - It's a gimmick, a fad, whatever
  • 18% (22 votes) - Never heard of it

Surely, there is a lot of 'marketing' around the IoT acronymn. At the same time, it's also clear from recent conferences that the cost of small sensors equipped with some processing power and communications capability has decreased substantially. This facilitates the deployment of low-cost smart sensors across various grids, from the power grid to the transportation grid to forests. The communication capability enables the sensors to upload data to a remote data center (perhaps running in the cloud), which facilitates monitoring conditions across the entire network of sensors without having to send a human out simply to get a reading. It's something that surely is going to grow.

But, back to the poll: 35% believe this inevitable growth will have a 'revolutionary' impact in the coming decades, while another 28% think the IoT is a significant develop akin to many other significant modern technological developments. So, about 5/8 of developers see this as something that will be very important in the coming years.

That leaves 3/8 of developers considering the Internet of Things to be a gimmick, a fad, or they've perhaps never even heard of it.

Note, as usual: this is not a scientific poll, it's a voluntary survey. The vote total was pretty low. That sometimes suggests that the poll's topic wasn't something that many developers found interesting, or they didn't know what the poll was about, so they didn't vote. In other words, it could be that the actual "Never heard of it" percentage is larger than what the poll shows.

We have an interesting related article spotlighted on the Java.net home page right now, Ian Skerrett's Are Telcos Missing the Developer Community in M2M and IoT? In this article, Ian notes that, in various events he's attended that talk about the Internet of Things, the big companies rarely mention developers or open source:

It was almost as if developers did not exist. One would think the Telcos would have learnt from the smartphone industry where Apple and Google have dominated due to the incredibly successful developer programs. Based on what I have heard that would not seem to be the case. It feels like the Telcos are stuck in a closed walled garden cathedral-like strategy...

Can this last? Oracle is busy promoting Java as the perfect language for helping drive the IoT revolution. One of their arguments is that the unification of Java Embedded and Java SE will make millions of Java developers suddenly available for developing IoT smart sensor applications. This sounds reasonable to me. Time will tell...

New poll: Upgrading your IDE?

Our current poll asks How frequently do you upgrade your IDE version?. Voting will be open until Friday, November 29.


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