The distance between hype and adoption, 2015 edition

Update: the 2016 edition is here

It’s the end of summer and Gartner has released it’s annual Hype Cycle chart, where products climb up from the Trigger of Innovation to Peak of Inflated Expectations, also known as Hype, down the slippery slope to the Trough of Disillusionment and slowly up to the Plateau of Productivity, where user adoption and acceptance is widespread. It’s interesting to see what Garner sees as peak hype vs where the tech industry thinks these products are. For example, Internet of Things is no longer considered “hype” here in the Valley with consumer products ranging from doorbells and door locks to thermostats and refrigerators found in many homes. Yet, according to Gartner, it’s still at the peak of hype and has 5-10 years before reaching the Plateau.  

Gartner’s Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies, 2011-2014. Sources: Forbes 2012, Gartner 2013, Gartner 2014, Gartner 2015

Gartner’s Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies, 2012-2015
Sources: Forbes 2012, Gartner 2013, Gartner 2014, Gartner 2015

It’s always interesting to compare this year’s chart to the years before it. Let’s take a look at how some product categories have fared this year, shall we?

  • In contrast to the Internet of Things, which hasn’t budged from peak hype, the Connected Home has climbed up the hype curve.
  • Virtual Reality is almost out of the Trough thought I find it strange that it is closer to mass adoption than the Internet of Things. Hasn’t the Nest Thermostat invaded more homes than any VR device?
  • Cryptocurrencies, last year slipping down the hype curve, now firmly in the Trough of Disillusionment. It’s interesting to compare that observation to Bitcoin value over time. Bitcoin hit its all-time high of almost $1,000 in November of 2013. In the summer of 2014 it was still fluctuating with a high of $650 in June down to $400 in September. Yet this summer it has remained steady around $250. Doesn’t this more stable value indicate maturity?
  • Gamification, at its peak in 2013, slipped a bit in 2014, sadly didn’t make it to the Plateau. It’s gone this year from the hype chart.
  • Nothing reached the Plateau of Productivity this year though Enterprise 3D printing is very close, both according to Gartner and, it seems, in real life. Just yesterday, in an post of a girl receiving a 3D printed arm, TechCrunch said: “It’s amazing to see technology that was in its infancy even five years ago take off to such amazing heights.”
  • Gartner says “Autonomous Vehicles,” self-driving cars, are at the peak of hype, whereas last year they were still climbing up the slope. That fits well with weekly reports about Google’s cars and other manufacturers like Apple and Tesla rumored to join the race.  
  • Gamificaion, at the peak of hype in 2013, slipping towards the Trough but well above it last year, is gone.
  • Garner says Wearables are on their way down from peak hype and heading towards the Trough. Like Internet of Things, this surprises me as the various Fitbit models sold well during the 2014 holiday season and corporations are giving employees insurance discounts for wearing fitness trackers. Doesn’t that qualify for the Plateau of Productivity yet? Well, Gartner seems to think they’re still a fad that could fade. Interesting.
  • Newest on the hype chart: Smart Dust, “a collection of microelectromechanical systems forming a simple computer in a container light enough to remain suspended in air, used mainly for information gathering in environments that are hostile to life.” Now that will be interesting to follow!

These are just some of the emerging technologies and their progress through the hype chart across the years. These are just the ones I found interesting. As I said last year, the work doesn’t end when a product reaches peak hype, it ends when a product reaches the Plateau.

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3 thoughts on “The distance between hype and adoption, 2015 edition

  1. Pingback: Beware the Hype | What it all boils down to

  2. Pingback: Impresión 3D - se acabó el hype - Norbert's Tech thoughts and passions

  3. Pingback: Impresión 3D - se acabó el hype - Norbert Rovira tech thoughts and passions

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