Tech Roundtable: Are You Ready For The Internet Of Things?

by Roby Brock ([email protected]) 188 views 

The world is shrinking and productivity is improving thanks to technological advances, and business leaders in the field say Americans – and Arkansans – will likely be twice as “connected” to their devices in the next five years.

This week’s Talk Business & Politics roundtable explored technology, how the Internet of Things (IoT) is transforming personal and work experiences, and the importance of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) education.

Verizon Wireless Regional President Kristi Crum, Mainstream Technologies CEO John Burgess, and The Venture Center President Lee Watson joined TB&P‘s Roby Brock for a discussion on a variety of technology topics.

“The Internet of Things is the next logical extension of getting the technology embedded in your everyday life,” said Burgess, who cited as examples everything from watches to cars to toasters. “The technology is ubiquitous in everything you do.”

According to Cisco research, in 2015 there are presently 7.2 billion on the planet and there are 25 billion connected devices. That’s an average of 3.47 connected devices per person. By 2020, that number will nearly double to 6.58 connected devices per person.

“In 2010, there was basically one connection for every person on the planet,” Crum said. “Everything in your home is connected.. pretty soon we’re going to have smart cities and it’s going to go on and on and on.”

Your daily life is already transformed by IoT. If you have Bluetooth in your car to talk on your phone or listen to music, you’re connected. If you monitor your home security or your thermostat remotely from your phone while at work, you’re participating in the Internet of Things. If you wear a Fitbit to monitor your daily exercise, you’ve utilized IoT.

“Think about it as the Third Wave,” added Watson. “So you had the computer revolution, then there was the Internet and this is really what’s next. It (IoT) will be that disruptive or more disruptive than what the Internet’s been.”

There are security and privacy risks associated with all of this connectivity as well as improvements in quality of life and productivity. Also, the rapid advancement of this technology further emphasizes the need to improve education in this realm, such as Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s computer coding initiative.

You can catch the full roundtable discussion on these topics and more in the video below.