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The Internet of Things hype generator

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The promise and reality of the Internet of Things couldn’t be farther apart.

Here’s the promise: a "system of systems"

Here’s the reality: "Connecting you with your trashcan like never before"

Things are so bad that Gartner — one of tech's most respected research and advisory companies — called the Internet of Things the most hyped emerging technology of 2014:

Gartner IOT Hype Cycle

You can see IoT perched precariously at the very apex of the Hype Chart, teetering upon the "peak of inflated expectations" before its certain plunge into the "trough of disillusionment" — something I’d wager has already begun.

To be fair, things being interneted is very much a new phenomenon. Wireless chips only recently became cheap enough to install as an afterthought thanks to the explosion of smartphone ownership around the world. Someday, Google and Watson and Siri and Alexa and Cortana will all find a way to make sense of the data we radiate. That time isn’t now.

So, let’s take a breath, exhale slowly, and learn to recognize IoT hype the next time we’re tempted to give money to a so-called "smart" device on Kickstarter or Indiegogo. These fictitious headlines might help: