If you’ve invested in any Internet of Things companies or bought a smart thermostat or Apple watch you may live to regret it. Current plans by the people who regulate the radio spectrum – OFCOM in the UK and the FCC in the US have plans in place which may stop most of these devices working. As a result they could cost investors and the industry hundreds of trillions of dollars.
To most people this is a very obscure technical subject, but I’d urge you to read on. The problem is that the debate is being conducted by regulatory specialists, who appear to have little idea of the damage they may be doing. The consequences are not percolating up to CEOs and investors, who should be screaming blue murder. The result of that resounding silence could be that any products that use Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, ZigBee, Thread or any other radio that works at 2.4GHz will degrade or stop working. That includes your home internet, smart watches, fitness trackers, hearing aids, smart meters, health monitors, wireless headsets; in fact most of the products which collectively are beginning the make up the Internet of Things. It will be a self-imposed wound which could put the industry back ten years, allowing China and others to leapfrog to a position of technical leadership.