What Will the Internet of Things Be in 2025?

Four predictions about the ways in which the IoT will impact our lives and workplaces a decade from now paint a future in which technology makes us better communicators, healthier eaters and more collaborative.
By Mary Catherine O'Connor
Jun 12, 2015

Would you implant a chip in your brain in order to quickly and easily access the Internet? Nearly half of the people who attended a future-focused session at the Cisco Live! conference, held this week in San Diego, Calif., said they would. Joseph Bradley, Cisco's Internet of Everything (IoE) evangelist and VP of the networking giant's IoE Practice Consulting Services (CCS), had posed the question as a way of talking about how his 2015 resolution was to "embrace his Millennial-ness." In line with that resolution, he indicated that he'd take the implant, too.

But the bigger point of the panel was to ask experts in a range of industries to predict how the IoT will impact their lives and careers by 2025. Sensum—a company that makes wearable devices that track eye movements and facial expressions, as well as detect electrical activity in the brain, as a means of helping marketers evaluate consumers' emotional response to content—outfitted nine members of the audience with sensors in order to track their emotional responses to the predictions. After each production was made, Sensum determined those attendees' "emotional positivity average."

Cisco's Joseph Bradley
First up was Kate O'Keeffe, a Cisco executive who leads a project called Cisco Hyperinnovation Living Labs (CHILL), a consultancy that has worked with a number of Cisco customers, including Lowes, Costco, Visa and Nike, to develop products and services that leverage the Internet of Things. She predicted that by 2025, "resource scarcity will drive the kind of reforms businesses need to innovate." While corporations today resist collaboration, she said, the need for greater efficient use of resources and an imperative to innovate the way products are made and how industries operate will force companies to "work more closely together and in more networked ways." Would the IoT play a role in this greater collaboration? She didn't say, but presumably yes.

The response from attendees, according to the Sensum data, was basically "meh." It barely registered a positive response.

The second speaker was John Meister, senior VP at Panera Bread. His prediction was that by 2025, IoT-linked sensors will give consumers more power to understand the health-impacts of the foods they eat. He noted recent news that New York City's Health Department is considering requiring chain eateries to mark high-sodium foods, and that Panera has been called out as serving high-sodium foods in news reports about that potential requirement. Still, he said, arming consumers with more and better transparency into the foods they consume is good for public health.

Sensum's emote-o-meter showed an uptick after Meister's prediction, with a 40 percent emotional positivity average response among the sensor-wearing attendees.

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