The U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 6032, the State of Modern Application, Research, and Trends (SMART) of IoT Act, last week, which would direct the Secretary of Commerce to conduct a study on the state of the internet-connected device industry, projected to have a $11.1 trillion global economic impact by the year 2025.
This bill now goes to the Senate with one week left before it adjourns for the year.
Congressman Bob Latta (R-Bowling Green), the author of the SMART IoT Act, and Congressman Peter Welch (D-VT) launched an IoT Working Group in the 114th Congress to discuss policy implications of the Internet of Things and challenges and opportunities that exist to the implementation and security of this technology.
“The Internet of Things is already changing the way we live, the way we farm, the way we manufacture goods, the way we receive health care, and the way we get around,” said Latta. “With a potential impact in the trillions of dollars, we need to look at the policies, opportunities, and challenges that IoT presents. The SMART IoT Act is the result of bipartisan work with my colleague, Congressman Peter Welch, to help find who is doing what at the federal level when it comes to IoT, and it’s a critical step to future IoT policy efforts.”
With microchips, sensors and wireless communications, almost any object can share, exchange and analyze data to gather insights to solved problems or enable capabilities to benefit consumers and businesses by improving productivity, efficiency, said Latta speaking in favor of the act before Congress.
“Whether we are talking about advancements to the automobiles that will improve roadway safety and save lives or smart city applications that will improve the lives of residents, one thing is clear; we have the chance to benefit from a more connected world,” Latta said.
By 2025 the total economic impact of IoT is projected to reach $11.1 trillion, which $2.5 trillion in the healthcare sector, $2.3 billion in infrastructure, $100 billion in agriculture and $50 billion in vehicle use.
“Because of the vast benefits of IoT we are seeing significant economic impacts across a number of industries,” Latta said. “But to realize these benefits we must ensure the government does not get in the way. Throughout numerous meetings over the years we heard from many stakeholders what became clear it is difficult to know who was doing what both in the federal government and in the private sector. A lack of collaboration and dialogue presents the problem of creating unnecessary barriers to innovation and common-sense policy.”
The Smart IoT Act directs the Department of Commerce to create a record of IoT involvement at the federal level to aid in industry regulation.
“This is what will help promote interagency discussions and avoid conflicting or duplicative obligations or regulations that may slow innovation and progress,” Latta said. “At the industry level, this will help innovators and businesses know how entities are developing, using and promoting use of IoT solutions.
The compendium will also highlight industry-based efforts to self-regulate and provide all stakeholders with a resource to facilitate communication and information sharing.
“The Smart IoT is a critical first step to future IoT policy efforts. It provides important information that will foster federal collaboration and streamline private industry efforts,”
Latta said. “We have an obligation to do what we can to promote American competitiveness and technological advancements that benefits Americans in an environment where other countries trying to overtake the United States in technological innovation.”