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Explosion of connected possibilities – the impact of digital identity on the adoption of the Internet of Things

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Imagine your future home. The door will open automatically as soon as you are near it. The way you look and move and the devices you carry provide all the information needed to seamlessly authenticate you and unlock the door. Everything inside your house including your heating system, fridge or a light bulb will be connected to the Internet. 

But before we get there, let’s look at our situation now. The number of Internet of Things (IoT) devices is growing at a rapid pace. Cisco estimated that there will be 50 billion of those devices by 2020. Yet we are still trapped with usernames and passwords. We all need to authenticate ourselves several times a day. This number is increasing in proportion to the number of IoT devices and this means that usernames and passwords are becoming even more dysfunctional. Not very efficient or user-friendly, right? 

Dominika Rusek’s recent thesis has shown that authentication impacts the adoption of the Internet of Things. The goal was to investigate what the relationship between digital identity and the Internet of Things is. What I found out is that user-friendly authentication will be a big driver for adoption. So for the Internet of Things to achieve full potential, authentication needs to evolve from traditional means to seamless authentication – a combination of attribute-based authentication and advanced biometrics, e.g. iris or vein scans. If authentication is easy and secure, having a large number of devices connected to the Internet of Things will only bring added value, rather than multiple usernames and passwords. 

If you want to gain an insight into your future home, have a look at the full report. In case of questions or feedback, don’t hesitate to contact me (drusek@deloitte.nl) or Nick Smaling (nsmaling@deloitte.nl).

Dominika Rusek