Intel Exec: Internet of Things Isn’t Scaling As Fast As We Thought

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Actual connected devices may fall short of the 50 billion experts were predicting would join the internet by 2020.

Tech companies specializing in the internet of things need more of a boost from the U.S. government, according to one Intel executive.

Over the past few years, market analysts have estimated that as many as 50 billion devices will be connected to the internet by 2020. But those numbers, and even more conservative projections of 20 to 30 billion devices, seem overhyped, and without buy-in from governments, companies like Intel are “struggling to deploy” at scale, according to Dipti Vachani, that company’s general manager for the Internet of Things group.

“How do we get this old technology coming together with new technology?” Vachani asked at a Tuesday event in Washington hosted by the Information Technology Industry Council, a tech sector advocacy group. “A partnership between the government and industry is critical for us to be able to start deploying.”

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In comparison, she noted, China has been especially aggressive in pursuing connected devices and automating certain jobs, potentially in part because labor costs have doubled.

That country has pledged to become a world leader in artificial intelligence technology, potentially challenging American tech companies, by 2025, John Neuffer, president and CEO of the Semiconductor Industry Association.

Creating concrete, ambitious national plans with timelines for technology, including the internet of things, could “give tremendous momentum to the dialogue,” Neuffer added.