Every year, research firm Gartner takes a look at some of the most-puffed-up technologies in a report called the Hype Cycle, which analyzes the estimated values and maturities of over 2,000 technologies. This year, Gartner has labeled the internet of things as the most-hyped technology, having surpassed big data to reach the “peak of inflated expectations”.
Many of the technologies on Gartner’s Hype Cycle have shifted their positions since 2013, meaning that their market promotion and perception of value has changed over the last year. Big data’s slide out of the peak spot, for example, shows that, while interest remains high for the technology, the market understands the capabilities and performance of big data more than it did the year prior. The expectations for big data’s wildly impressive impact on the technology industry have been somewhat tamed.
HYPE CYCLE TECHNOLOGIES 2014
Forbes quotes the research firm’s special report on the evolution of big data’s hype:
While interest in big data remains undiminished, it has moved beyond the peak because the market has settled into a reasonable set of approaches, and the new technologies and practices are additive to existing solutions.
The 2014 Hype Cycle report is also focused on aiding businesses go digital, and — in order to do so — identify technologies that are emerging. Jackie Fenn, vice president and Gartner fellow stated regarding the report:
The Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies is the broadest aggregate Gartner Hype Cycle, featuring technologies that are the focus of attention because of particularly high levels of hype, or those that Gartner believes have the potential for significant impact. Enterprises should use this Hype Cycle to identify which technologies are emerging and use the concept of digital business transformation to identify which business trends may result…Understanding where your enterprise is on this journey and where you need to go will not only determine the amount of change expected for your enterprise, but also map out which combination of technologies support your progression.
One of the important points of the hype cycle is to demonstrate how the industry comes to understand the actual uses of certain technologies versus their previously expected functions. The internet of things has been getting significant amounts of hype as companies like Google, Qualcomm, LG, and Samsung issue products such as smart watches, smart refrigerators, and other devices that connect to a future network of functionality that does not exist at this point.
The objects that exist in the internet of things have no standard platform as of now in order to make the internet of things a reality. It will be some time before that platform — if any — is realized, and, in fact, there may be several platforms, which will make the one interconnected network for the internet of things a dim dream. Meanwhile, according to Gartner, 3D printing tech has yet to reach such levels of hype. The cycle is one to keep eyes on for the realities and values of these important technologies.