It is not surprising that embedded computing technologies typically lag the latest trends in the broader retail computing space, primarily due to some unique requirements such as longevity, security and reliability. Eventually, many of the new technologies do end up in the embedded space. So, what are these new technology trends that will impact us? I see technology trends like wearable computing, cloud computing, mobile internet and the Internet of Things (IoT) already gaining some momentum in the retail space as awareness increases all around us. Whether we know it or not, most of us are already users of IoT as many of our homes have connected ‘smart’ meters. I can easily monitor my home electricity usage as well as the solar panel electric generation on my smart phone at any time. Many people are already using the home security monitoring systems controlled by their smart phones as well as home temperature controls using smart systems like the Nest learning thermostats. As awareness of the benefits and quality of life improvement increases, so will the adoption of these systems in the broader marketplace.
So, what do all these systems have in common? What is the next big focus in the embedded computing space? To me, the common thread underlying these trends are software and services which enable these smarter systems and solutions. I believe that companies with strong software and services offerings along with integrated hardware systems will be at an advantage by being able to quickly adapt to these trends and providing solutions to their customers, either by themselves or with their ecosystem partners. What do you think will be the next big thing? I would love to hear your thoughts on these exciting times!