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Thursday, August 14, 2014

Internet of Things (IoT) and Autonomous Vehicles in the Hype(r)-Cycle

As reported by MemeBurn: Technology research house Gartner has released its annual hype cycle graph, which shows where various technologies are in terms of maturity, business benefit and future direction. This, the 201th edition of the hype cycle, shows that right now we’re really excited by technologies like autonomous motoring and data science and are becoming disillusioned with things like NFC and cloud computing.

Perhaps most intriguing though are the technologies that lie on the axes of inflated expectations and those heading up the slope of enlightenment toward the plateau of productivity.

In the case of the former, the trend that stands out is the Internet of Things. Over the past couple of years we've been told that this trend, which refers to the interconnection of uniquely identifiable embedded computing like devices within the existing Internet infrastructure, would massively improve the way we collect data and do business.

Its position on the graph does not however mean that it’s not doing those things, just that our expectations around the Internet of Things are way higher than the technology is currently capable of delivering. The same is true of natural language question answering. There can be no doubting the fact that it’s helped make things easier for some businesses but the fact that no seems to be in too much of a rush to replace their call centers suggests that we could soon start to become disillusioned with it.

The hope for these technologies is that they will eventually be able to overcome their over-hyped expectations and eventual disillusionment to hit what Gartner calls the plateau of productivity. In this stage, technologies may not seem as exciting as they once were but they do become an every day part of the way we do business.

The most familiar technology in this section of the graph is speech recognition, which has found its way onto our phones and is making increasingly prominent appearances in our cars. The same will likely happen to enterprise 3D printing and 3D scanning in the near future.

While Gartner says that it’s worth bearing the Hype Cycle’s trends in mind, the stages the various technologies represented on it are at are not universal. “Many early adopters have embraced quite advanced technologies, such as autonomous vehicles or smart advisors,” says Hung LeHong, vice president and Gartner fellow. “While they continue to improve nexus-related areas, such as mobile apps – so it’s important to look at the bigger picture.”