At the end of 2015, Gartner released a list of top industry trends that will come in 2016. The list comprised ten things all related to digital technology, trends and security. The emphasis was expansion of the industry in new or revamped ways that will lead everything.
Here are the ten trends that Gartner enlisted:
1. The Device Mesh
2. Ambient User Experience
3. 3D-printing materials
4. Information of Everything
5. Advanced Machine Learning
6. Autonomous agents and things
7. Adaptive Security Architecture
8. Advanced System Architecture
9. Mesh app and service Architecture
10. IoT architecture and platforms
The first thing on that list is the ‘Device Mesh’ and we believe it to be the most important thing on the list as rest of the nine things are just consequences of the Device Mesh. Let’s understand the definition, full meaning and implications of the Device Mesh in all of its part first.
What is Device Mesh?
There already is a technology called “Mesh Networking” in which connected endpoints generates and cooperates to relay the data to the whole network. It is just a local version of internet where multiple devices are connected to each other in certain network topography.
But, that all is getting too much technical. What we need to understand is that a Mesh means a certain type of connection among the devices. That connection helps the devices to connect and interact with each other. The network of the physical version of that connection – the physical devices – is the Device Mesh.
In this Device Mesh, devices are talking to each other on command or automatically to pass information, orders, etc. and gets things done. So far, such technology was highly concentrated to government agencies, businesses or networking companies and was acting at the backstage while serving the population. Now, as Gartner predicted, with the rise of mobile platforms, technologies and devices and seamless connections between them, the Device Mesh is probably directly entering into the consumer space for the first time.
IOT Helping Device Mesh
We are using a lot of interconnected devices already: mobile phones, tablets, PCs, laptops, smart watches, etc. And as if it wasn’t enough, the inevitable arrival of Internet of Things is literally making everything from a thermos and vessel to entire homes connected with each other to automate most of the things in our daily lives. Thus, the rise of IOT is making the devices to go from the mesh connections to fully connected network to some extent in which every device is connected to every other device. Gartner predicts that by the end of 2020 there would be more than 25 billion devices interconnected with each other while Cisco predicts it to be 50 billion.
What Device Mesh means for you?
Device Mesh means Minority Report. Or, any other sci-fi movie you love. You will start living the sci-fi world you have seen in films or imagined in your daydreams. The example is already given above, just apply it to your surroundings and you will see that you want it to happen right now.
Now, look at your daily life. You are already using apps and software which lets you seamlessly work on multiple devices without the requirement to update your work on each device. The devices update themselves through cloud by tracking your work in any device. Thus, you are ready to work on any device. That is one function automated in your daily life. Through the IoT, everything from your car, thermostat to your dog’s collar would be interconnected and will automate your works for you. For instance, when you leave from the office, your car will automatically send the update to your thermostat at home, which will start automatically. Then as you arrive, the garage door automatically opens without even needing you to press any button and closes behind as you have safely parked your car. As you reach your front door, the smart lock unlocks automatically by reading the signals only relayed by the smart key you have in your pocket or from your mobile phone. You enter your house, lights turns on sensing your presence and you sit on your sofa in an already heated/cooled home with comfort without ever needing to touch the remote to turn on the TV. From there on you watch your movie. The story can continue further about living in an interconnected smart home, but you get the idea.
You will be surrounded by these interconnected devices and things and will be constantly deriving information of services from that (Gartner calls it the “Ambient User Experience” on its list). Everyone will have their own personal Device Meshes surrounding them and serving them like personal butlers. And when someone will make a system that derives information from all those connected devices and represents you deeply analytical and actionable data that would become your own personal Artificial Intelligence serving to your personal needs.
But, let us take that daydream to one step further. When even the IoT starts to mature and Device Mesh is growing exponentially, like internet, the device mesh itself will begin to get invisible. You will only see the services you receive and everything is happening in the background. That will be one seamless experience and, life.
Why Device Mesh is the most Important Trend?
Take a look at the list once again. It could be divided in to three parts:
1. The Devices
- The Device Mesh
- Ambient User Experience
- 3D-printing Materials
- Information of Everything
- Advanced machine learning
- Autonomous Agents and Things
3. Updates and Security
- Adaptive Security Architecture
- Advanced System Architecture
- Mesh app and service Architecture
- IoT architecture and platforms
In The Devices, the device mesh is made of network of devices; the Ambient User Experience is the smooth experience generated by the mesh of the devices and the 3D-printing materials indicates the potential of various materials that will be employed into 3D printing i.e. 3D printed food.
The Information part could only follow after the first part. The devices are constantly collecting big pool of data as they are being used. The massive collection of the data from every user becomes big enough to be called Big Data. Companies that can make sense of that big data will ultimately win.
The third part tries to secure that Big Data and manage it in more advanced and meaningful way.
Thus, everything starts from the Device Mesh and everything follows its lead. That’s why it is also the most important trend predicted by Gartner.
What we, as manufacturers or service providers, need to understand from it is the probable trend of the market and of the consumers in the future and set our strategies accordingly. It is clear that world is moving towards IoT and if your competitor moves toward these trends before you, in the long run, they get the all of the First Mover Advantages.