Repeating the question I asked two years ago at Strategies in Light……when technology gorillas and lighting manufacturers align, who will be driving? Here is what I wrote back in 2014, speaking about DISINTERMEDIATION:
“I’m not convinced that most lighting distribution is prepared or committed to making the emotional and financial investments necessary to transform to 21st century technology and solution providers. Distribution is firmly embedded in the traditional lighting channel. But, Disintermediation is happening. And with the Internet of Things, the game changes. Lighting isn’t just about light anymore. Channel players must find ways to provide measurable, appreciable value to the end user, beyond just delivering lighting products. The IoT is real, it’s here and it’s here to stay. The questions now are about who plays in the IoT game and who do they play with? And what position do they play. And what are the rules of the game? And what are the hurdles and what are the rewards? And when tech gorillas and lighting manufacturers align, who drives?”
We have SmartCities, SmartLamps, SmartPhones, SmartWatches……on a personal aside, I have a SmartAss youngest brother who years ago delighted in regularly pointing out the small bald spots and slightly receding hairlines that my other brother and I shared. I finally pointed out to SmartAss that there was a scientific theory of inescapable ‘genetic inevitability’, especially since our Mom’s dad was pretty bald. For the last 15 years, other brother and I have reveled in pointing out SmartAss’s increasingly large bald spot and thinning hair.
“Interesting Mr. Illumigeddon, but what’s your point?” Well, it may be time to invent a new version of inevitability…… IoT inevitability. Like it or not, the Internet of Things exists. And it’s real. And it’s still in its infancy. And yes, of course there will be hiccups along the path to wide acceptance.
And yes, it’s confusing
And yes, rules still have to be written
And yes, there will be winners and losers
And yes, it’s too early to pick the winners
And yes, you will need resources to compete
And yes, new high-tech entrants are looking to dominate
And yes, lighting isn’t just about light anymore.
But with all the tech gorillas and all their R&D billions being invested in connectivity, sensing, data analytics and the action plans currently under way, the lighting industry cannot afford to be IoT ‘deniers’! IoT is here and here to stay, deal with it or disappear!
Back to my much earlier question about ‘who will drive?’……..my answer then and now……
How else can the Cisco Digital Ceiling and the very recent Verizon acquisition of Sensity be interpreted? And what tech/lighting alliance will be next? And what will the long term impact be on traditional lighting distribution, manufacturing and manufacturers rep? Creeping Disintermediation? If we aren’t preparing now, if we don’t lose our skepticism about IoT, if we don’t stop being deniers, we’re ‘out of business, just don’t know it yet’! (Heard that one before?). And IoT inevitability will be as real as SmartAss’s bald spot. And finally, and I’ve said it before…..I may be wrong!
(But what if I’m right?)
Next week, Captain Sunshine will suggest some steps to deal with lighting distribution’s thinning hair and growing bald spot…ILLUMITUNITY!