More than a decade ago — in May 2001 — Forrester authored a report heralding the coming of the X Internet, or extended Internet, defined as “Internet devices and applications that sense, analyze, and control the real world.” We proclaimed that “the Web is fading fast . . . smart devices will push the scale of the Internet far beyond today’s PC-based Net.”
Turns out that the vision we laid out in 2001 still hasn’t come to fruition. While enterprises in healthcare, manufacturing, and utilities are well down the path of the X Internet — better known today as the Internet of Things, the industrial Internet, or in Cisco Systems' parlance, the Internet of Everything — consumer adoption and general business adoption of sensor devices and services are just getting started.
The sensor-laden consumer products that are starting to hit the market are “smart” in sensing and relaying information about the physical bodies wearing them or the physical environments they inhabit — a phenomenon we call “smart body, smart world.” But these smart products could get a lot smarter: Today they are largely fragmented and not as useful as they could be.