I first wrote about the hype surrounding the Internet of Things in 2004. Back then, industry analysts predicted that tens of billions of things would be connected to the Internet within five years. It didn’t happen.

Now the hype is back. The 50 billion things that were supposed to be connected by 2010 were merely postponed. The new projected arrival date is 2020.

Don’t get me wrong. The Internet of Things (IoT) is an exciting growth opportunity. (It’s also a misnomer, but that’s a discussion for a future post.) The problem is that it is really many different opportunities, each of which will grow at its own pace. A few markets, such as asset tracking and automatic meter reading, have achieved considerable traction. Others, such as connected cars and smart homes, show great promise. And we all look forward to the day when sensors embedded in our clothing detect health problems in their earliest and most treatable stages.

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