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2017 forecast: IoT devices to continue their steady surge in AU

18 Jan 2017

The Internet of Things (IoT) has risen to prominence in recent years, and new research has revealed that its growth won’t be slowing anytime soon.

According to the study from global business technology and cybersecurity association, ISACA, the ownership of IoT devices is forecasted to grow again this year, with smart TVs expected to grow as much as 29 percent. Consumers are also likely to increase their spending on smart watches by 20 percent and wireless fitness trackers by 15 percent.

Wi-Fi-enabled cameras, Internet-connected home alarm systems and connected cars will see less of an increase, due to many Australians already owning these devices. Currently, just under a quarter of the Australian population do not own any IoT devices.

The study also focused on IoT devices enhanced with augmented reality (AR) in the US, UK, Australia, India and Singapore – think Pokemon Go anyone? Australian consumers were found to be positive about the benefits of AR, with a high number agreeing that a range of suggested AR applications would improve their life or make it easier for them to do their job (applications like training guides, healthcare and home decoration).

In fact, Goldman Sachs affirm that AR and virtual reality have the capacity to become the next big computing platform, with a conservative estimate of the hardware and software market growing to US$80b by 2025.

“With the proliferation of IoT-enabled devices and the drive to provide enhanced user experiences, IoT and AR have the power to become a source of unprecedented value and opportunity, as well as significant risk,” says Rob Clyde, an ISACA board director.

Still some obstacles to overcome yet

Despite the positive feelings, the survey also revealed that consumers and IT professionals alike still have concerns about the possible risks of IoT devices enhanced with AR.

77 percent of Australian consumers are concerned that these enhancements may make their devices more vulnerable to a privacy breach. Likewise, among IT and cybersecurity professionals, security concerns are among the top barriers to adoption of AR.

And in spite of the influx of IoT devices onto the market (or perhaps because of), confusion over the IoT is growing, with the percentage of consumers who are confident in their ability to identify IoT technologies dropping 13 points in Australia – compared to a 10-point decrease in the UK and US.

“Individuals and enterprises should focus on rapidly getting up to speed on these technologies while learning how to manage risk so they do not compromise their company’s ability to innovate,” Clyde concludes.

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