As more Internet of Things (IoT) products are found on more Americans’ wish lists – from the Amazon Echo to Fitbit wearables to Bosch refrigerators to Nest thermostats – the latest analysis from Argus Insights shows that most potential buyers’ conversations are heavily concentrated around “big data” concerns.
Argus’ “State of the Internet of Things: What’s Leading Market Conversations” points out that as the IoT space grows, so does the sheer massive volume of data collected – and buyers of IoT-enabled devices are talking amongst themselves about their fears of what will happen with this massive mound of data and how it will remain secure.
The research firm looked at over 2.3 million social mentions that made up the Twitter storm around IoT between January and mid-April this year. The most popular content, hashtags and tweets – those that prompted the most social media engagement – provided the basis for determining what the marketplace deemed important and how those concerns shifted over time.
Argus’ report demonstrates that among IoT issues discussed in social conversations, big data leads market mindshare – well ahead of other general IoT topics like wearables, cloud computing, smart homes and cities, and more. As data growth is a natural byproduct of the IoT – since all connected devices generate a huge amount of data – it’s not surprising this would be the chief concern voiced about IoT.
Argus sees IoT brand dominance still up for grabs?
Among IoT in general, security concerns dominate, showing significantly more social mentions than privacy concerns. In fact, the report explains that consumers are tired of Google and Amazon tracking everything they say through Alexa and other smart home devices, and they’re concerned that hackers can crack baby monitors, smart locks, and other connected devices.
“Security concerns for consumers are definitely on the rise and this goes double for any enterprise deployments. Security issues continue to be a real roadblock for IoT product acceptance,” said John Feland, CEO of Argus Insights.
Marketers, take notice: among the social conversations Argus observed over their analysis period that talk of brands accounts for less than ten percent of the social world’s conversations on IoT. “Though there was definitely talk about Google, Microsoft, Intel, Amazon, Cisco and the rest, no single brand is dominating the overall IoT conversation,” Feland said.
So in the IoT terms, the market is still up for grabs in terms of recognition.
Asked by Readwrite if an analysis of tweets – even millions of them – might just be a giant echo chamber, Feland said if that were the case, you’d expect to see brand dominance.
“If it was purely an echo chamber, you would expect the discussion to be awash with brand-based propaganda, the way the smartphone social conversation is a never-ending stream of iPhone case ads,” he told Readwrite. “In fact, less than 20 percent of the discussion makes any mention of the major brands leading the fight for mindshare.”
While he said any good analysis “starts with understanding the limits of the data you are using,” the aim of their report was not to measure market adoption size, but to take a snapshot of main themes of the IoT story right now.
“This means that most of the IoT discussion happening in Twitter is not just brands touting their own prowess, but a mix of thinkers, doers, consumers, advertisers, analysts and more all sharing and even conversing about the Internet of Things,” he said, adding that, in their estimation, “no single company has control of the market.”