Majority of modern IoT devices 'will be obsolete by 2020'

The majority of IoT devices being released and bought this year will be obsolete in just a matter of years, new predictions has claimed.

Although a number of analyst reports have predicted that the number of connected devices in use around the world is set to soar, many devices being purchased in time for Christmas 2017 may be discarded before 2020.

The shortcomings of many devices concern the need for a consistent Internet connection, which all-too-often can let down the expectations of consumers and businesses alike, Couchbase has warned.

“We’ve heard of the Internet of Things for so long that it’s almost lost all meaning. Yet the generation of products that have been created with constant connectivity in mind will soon be obsolete – consumers and workers want devices that do what they need, not ones that aren’t fit for purpose the moment any signal disappears,” said Perry Krug, principal architect at Couchbase.

“We need to stop thinking in terms of ‘connected’ devices. This isn’t only a matter of ensuring that services are always available. It’s also a matter of guaranteeing users the performance they increasingly expect. After all, whether browsing flights or accessing maintenance diagnostics, a service will operate better if it’s running in the user’s hand than if it has to constantly access a server tens, hundreds or thousands of miles away. Connectivity can still help services meet their full potential, but it shouldn’t be assumed to be the universal constant.”

The firm says that there is no single "magic bullet" to help any IoT device instantly live up to expectations, but that edge computing can play a big role in ensuring that products or services can perform essential tasks whether or not they have an internet connection.

For example, driverless vehicles should be able to navigate, even without live traffic or other updates or an industrial device should still record performance and offer diagnostics in real-time. And as devices become more powerful, edge computing can also ensure that connected applications react and respond to demand as quickly as possible, giving the best customer experience.

"There is more, and more powerful, technology in the hands of consumers and at the edge than ever before; the only way to meet user’s expectation is to make use of it,” Krug added.