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'IoT fatigue' to arise from fear of 'Big Data'

Posted: 27 Apr 2016     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Argus Insights  IoT  Big Data 

Previously, the general public would have to spend years before it could adapt to and assimilate with new technologies and devices. It even takes longer to realise the expected and unexpected consequences of their use. However, the advent and proliferation of Internet of Things (IoT) have resulted in public perception that's surpassing the actual promise of IoT.

IoT, a notion little known to most consumers a few years ago, has gotten 23.00 lakh (2.3 million) social Twitter mentions in just the first three months this year (January 1st to April 10th), according to Argus Insights, a Los Gatos, Calif.-based market research firm.

Surprising isn't the volume of social mentions. It's the fact that such social conversation is already exposing, in one way or another, the gap between IoT's reality and perception.

We might be witnessing the onset of IoT fatigue even before the market is up and running.

According to the "State of the Internet of Things: What's Leading Market Conversations" report issued by Argus Insights Wednesday (April 20), IoT chatter involving the industry and consumers is heavily concentrated around 'Big Data' concerns.

As IoT grows, so does the volume of data collected. People get that.

Disconcerting, however, is that IoT 'Big Data' conversation is now turning into "fears of what will happen to this pool of data and how will it remain secure," Argus Insights reported.

We all know that everyone, and every "thing," is collecting data. But "now we're moving in a 'now-what?' phase," said John Feland, CEO, Argus Insights.

IoT social mention

Figure 1: Social mention of IoT: For period 1/3/2016 through 4/9/2016 (Source: Argus Insights)

He explained that on one hand, industry people are asking, "What are we going to do with this volume of data?" On the other, consumers are saying: "Oh, crap, what are they going to do with my data?"

In other words: Big Data or Big Brother?

People recognise that data is one of the key assets of the IoT. But "users and experts alike do not have full trust in the current products to keep their data safe," Argus Insights' report concluded.

Further, Feland added, "Consumers are getting weary, and are afraid of Amazon and Google tracking everything they say through Alexa and other smart home devices, and they worry about hackers gaining access to their baby monitors and smart locks."


Twitter feeds don't segregate consumer conversations from those of industry insiders. So how do you know all this? "No, they don't," said Feland. "It comes in one big bucket."

However, Argus Insights, unlike many market research firms who track sales and shipment numbers, is in the business of monitoring and analysing consumer reviews and social media conversation to identify people's mindshare and predict demand.

Casting a large net over consumer topics including wearables, cloud, smart watch, smart home and others, Argus follows both consumer and industry-side discussions, Feland said.

For this IoT study, Argus analysed the most popular content, including shared links, hashtags and tweets with the most engagement throughout discussion of the IoT marketplace. The firm said, "Looking to the most popular content allows us to determine what is resonating within the marketplace and track how that is shifting over time."

Among IoT topics addressed in social conversations, Feland said that "'Big Data' leads market mindshare, substantially ahead of general discussions of wearables, cloud, smart home, smart cities and more."

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