During a recent IoT (Internet of Things, for those not familiar) Startup breakfast I realized a few things; the internet is going places most people can’t fathom, and I should have tried harder in Science class.
While we are still a long way from flying cars and ‘Rosie’ the robot maid, scientists and entrepreneurs are creating devices which will be embedded into everything from farm equipment, to your refrigerator, to your jeans; more importantly, these devices will communicate with manufactures, service stations, medical personnel, and even each other. The processors for these embedded devices are getting smaller, cheaper, more powerful, and thanks to visionaries like SIGFOX, low power networks will exist globally to efficiently allow these devices to communicate, and retain a longer service life.
As I was dreaming of a future utopia that would make Doc Brown gasp, a presenter from Wind River (leaders in embedded software for connected systems) brought up the reality that interoperability, or the ability for devices to communicate with each other, has yet to be solved. The issue, today’s innovators are creating devices utilizing their own protocols with no standard way of translating that language. Add the implications a network security breach could have on a country full of connected, semi-automated devices or wearables, and we unveil the hurdles entrepreneurs face before I can safely own a self-driving vehicle that tells my self-maintaining refrigerator to order more beers after a long day.
How do we bridge the gap between today’s standard of living, and tomorrow’s standard of excellence? As technology entrepreneurs create applications for the future, the means by which to fund these innovations has become more robust. According to San Diego Venture Group’s David Titus “venture capital investment is up to its highest level since 2009, an estimated $30 billion in funding.”
While these investment dollars are primarily chasing companies with market traction, angel investors have been seeding start-up and early stage companies that show promise in solving some of these issues.
Venture capital used to look for companies in a great market, or a product and team, now they also want companies to be killing it,” says Titus.
The growth of start-up communities, hubs like CyberTECH, and incubators like EvoNexus that encourage collaboration will help bring well researched solutions to investors, and then to market.
The future is bright, and my sunglasses will know it.
This blog was written by Jamal Brown.