The Internet of Things has reached the height of its hype, according to Gartner.
Each year the research firm puts out a Hype Cycle of emerging technologies, a sort of report card for various trends and buzzwords. This year, IoT tops the list.
Gartner believes that most emerging technologies go through a natural process in which they are triggered by some innovation, then they rise to a peak of inflated expectations. As the technologies mature, markets generally become disillusioned by them, before they start to become mainstream and just part of everyday technology.
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Along with IoT, wearable user interfaces and natural-language question answering (that's the technology behind asking a device a question and having it speak the response) are also just about at the top of their hype. All three of those technologies are expected to be commonplace in the market within 5 to 10 years, Gartner predicts.
Some buzzwords from years past are beginning to become mainstream, Gartner believes. Cloud computing, for example, is not just hype any more, Gartner claims. Hybrid Cloud Computing is headed that way, but is still more hyped than the cloud in general. Both are expected to mature within two to five years.
3D printing appears multiple times on the chart. Consumer 3D printing is at the peak of its hype, while enterprise 3D printing and 3D scanning are both maturing toward mainstream, according to Gartner.
Big Data and in-memory database management systems are just beyond the peaks of their hype, while gamification (the process of awarding badges, rewards and generally using game techniques) is coming down from its peak hype. Last year, big data topped the list as the most buzzworthy of tech terms.
The most mature of the emerging technologies are consumer telematics (such as in-car mapping systems) and speech recognition software.
Gartner has a preview of the buzzwords of tomorrow too. Technologies on their way to becoming inflated catchphrases but aren't quite there yet include autonomous vehicles, predictive analytics, smart robots, holographic displays, software-defined anything, quantum computing and the connected home.
Gartner, which has been assembling the an elongated bell curve Hype Cycle for 20 years, says it puts the chart together to help organizations deploy the "right technologies at the right time."
"As enterprises embark on the journey to becoming digital businesses, they will leverage technologies that today are considered to be 'emerging'," said Hung LeHong, vice-president and Gartner fellow. "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."