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Four Things I Told Congress About IoT

Gary Shapiro, Consumer Technology Association (CTA)™

Researchers say that by 2020, some 38 billion “things” will be connected to the Internet and the global market for connected consumer devices will reach $88 billion. This startling growth is enabled by the rise of sensors in devices connected to the Internet. In fact, the Internet of Things (IoT) was so big at the 2015 CES – 25 percent of exhibitors had IoT devices – that we can no longer section it off. It’s everywhere!
            The connected world is enjoying the benefits of IoT – increased efficiency, improved safety and security, faster and better decision-making – but IoT does bring new challenges about safety, security and privacy. Last week, Congress explored these issues during a congressional hearing at which I was invited to testify. I explained that industry-driven solutions best promote innovation and protect consumers from unfair use of their data. It’s in our industry’s self-interest to make good decisions about privacy and the security of the information that devices collect and share. If not, companies will fail in the marketplace.

A quick recap of my testimony:
  • We’ve seen an explosion of connected devices in the market, as consumers embrace the positive impacts of technologies.
  • Smart systems not only provide safety and convenience for a homeowner, but they also increase a home’s efficiency and reduce energy consumption and costs.
  • We need additional licensed and unlicensed spectrum, the platform on which most of these new devices connect.
  • We do not have enough highly-skilled workers; H-1B visa caps should be expanded to allow for more innovative and technologically savvy immigrants.  
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