Device Democracy. Saving the Future of the Internet of Things

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BRODY P., PURESWARAN V., Device Democracy. Saving the Future of the Internet of Things, IBM Institute for Business Value, 2014

Type Article
Abstract More than a billion intelligent, connected devices already comprise today’s “Internet of Things (IoT).” The expected proliferation of hundreds of billions more places us at the threshold of a transformation sweeping across the electronics industry and many others. Yet, the dream of a smart, safe and efficient future is threatened by subscription fees, ubiquitous advertising and intrusive surveillance. For the IoT to survive the end of trust and successfully scale from billions to hundreds of billions of devices, executives need to rethink the technology strategy, business models and design principles at its foundation. This first report of our study shows that a low-cost, private-by-design “democracy of devices” will emerge that will enable new digital economies and create new value, while offering consumers and enterprises fundamentally better products and user experiences.
Topics Business Model, Property, Technology, Interoperability


This Report explains the reasons why IoT is not expanding as rapidly as it could.

It also explains how realizing decentralization in an IoT world (through peer-to-peer and a blockchain).

Yesterday, there was only "Internet". Today, with the emerging IoT, we can refer to the old Internet as the "Internet of People".

Thanks to IoT, physical world will become as "liquid, personalized and efficient" as the digital one. Search, usage and payment of digital content has been transformed by Internet (instant, entirely online, costs reduced). With the IoT, the digitization, sale and delivery of physical assets becomes as easy as with virtual goods: physical assets will become digital services. With the IoT, many physical products will become digital experiences. Machine-human interactions will be replaced by machine-machine interactions (often invisible). And new human-machine interactions will emerge (often highly interactive).

Liquification of the physical world = every bit of the physical world becomes as easy to search, utilize and engage with as the virtual world.

For users, connectivity and remote usage of smart things are only secondary features; they care most about the functional enhanced value of the smart object: is this intelligence capable to improve their use of the thing, to reach better results, to make their life easier?