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Mark Rolston Talks About The Problems With IoT

Founder and Chief Creative Officer at argodesign, Mark Rolston, gave his insight into the Internet of Things (IoT) for The Toronto Star.  

The IoT industry is faced with a major obstacle centered around Internet-connected devices that are focused on novel products rather than on enhancing human life. The concept of connecting everything to the Internet–from a refrigerator to a toothbrush–as a means of collecting data is intended to make people’s lives better and more efficient, but those goals have yet to materialize. Predictions estimate an astounding 25 billion connected devices by 2020, up from 4.9 billion in 2015.

While IoT has numerous uses for industry, consumer IoT products are often met with doubt and lackluster intrigue. The minds behind these creations are looking to make it big with unique product offerings, but they aren’t taking into account how these devices truly benefit the end user. Wired and wireless networks cause lag time for connected devices, as opposed to analog or unconnected devices. Another inconvenience is that IoT devices are powered and need to be recharged or plugged in, which costs the consumer more money. In addition, any and all devices connected to the Internet are susceptible to being hacked.

The most successful products thus far have been able to attract consumers’ most fundamental wants and needs without major security risks. In the article for The Toronto Star, Mark Rolston said, “Connected homes are most appealing when ‘smart’ functions are built in at a more comprehensive and fundamental level, rather than on a product-by-product basis. That’s an argument that starts to make sense once you realize that an infrastructure is emerging. You’re not buying things, you’re buying a system.”

The various obstacles developers face in creating IoT devices means that the benefits will take longer to reach. In the meantime, the article lists a practical guide to the good and the bad of IoT devices on the market.


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