Is IoT the Next App Store?
Posted by | January 17, 2017
This post originally appeared on CIOReview.com, January 11th, 2017.
It is hard to think about the current wave of digital innovation and empowered end-users without thinking about apps. Despite the app store concept in its current form really taking root in 2008 with the launch of Apple’s App Store for iOS, we have been app crazy as a society, with over 4 million unique apps downloaded over 200 billion times by users around the world.
And while the reinvention of the smartphone by Apple and Google fundamentally changed our digital user experience, it also did something even more powerful by democratizing innovation. It enabled anyone with a good idea to push it out as easily accessible software to be downloaded by smartphone users around the world. This continues to level the playing field in major industries everywhere, upending entrenched businesses in transportation, retail, banking, and even healthcare.
Meanwhile, the Internet of things (IoT) has been living in the back-office of industrial companies, virtually invisible from everyday consumers with the exception of a few shiny objects like Nest Thermostats and connected toy drones. But what if IoT could harness the same power of the app store to reach the masses with new innovations? What if innovators could publish vertical software apps, embedded apps and cool cloud services, utilities or analytics through the IoT store?
In many ways, this is already happening; we just may not realize it.