Internet of Things has quickly become the dominating topic of 2014. It’s hard to say … in Technology, because IofT has far reaching consequences beyond tech.
Amazon just launched it’s new “Wearables” store. It sells many practical technology pieces that incorporate monitoring and analytics to our daily decision making processes. A new term "Quantative Self" appeared last year – which teaches us how to measure one’s fitness, activity and health. It can be done remotely if there is another person taking care of you – like coach or a doctor, perhaps caregiver or family member as well. This technology is not for just elite athletes any more.
Clothes with live messaging are not a common occurrence on the streets yet, but are sure tested in the fashion industry. Bicycle jackets are able to signal turns or stops on the road. CuteCircuit haute couture made it into this year’s NY Fashion Week.
OM Signal makes bio-sensing smart apparel. It continuously monitors physical activity, ECG data, and breathing patterns, transmitting that data to an associated smartphone app. In addition to just raw bio data, the user receives interpretations of stress and emotional levels, and subsequent advice on how to improve.
In its introductory video, the company demonstrates a wife notified of her husband’s rising stress levels, a daughter who’s able to get her father to a hospital after being alerted to his dramatically elevated heart rate, and parents monitoring the heartbeat of both mother and child throughout the day.
We are very excited that one day soon upcoming heart attacks, high blood sugar, early organ failures, or pregnancy will be detected and signaled by our clothes first.
Gesture controlled apps (i.e.for drones, large screen presentations or home appliances controls) are also making their way to Operating Rooms in the hospitals, to enable documentation browsing without touching it.
You can capture, store and relive special moments with a very small wearable camera – The Narrative Clip, which records your life as it happens, at the capacity of 4000 pictures, rechargeable every few days.
As the amount of data that is collected and shared about each human and the environment increases, security repercussions are frightening. It’s pure nightmare of any professional. Hacker can install malware or copy a smartphone which is just on the same wi-fi. Devices connected to Internet of Things can be hacked and taken over – from drones to cars to electrical grids to water supplies to cities’ traffic controls, to medicine dispensers in hospitals. It is especially true when millions of devices with non-updateable firmware are already deployed throughout our environment. Just sheer volume of these devices make them almost impossible to service or oversee.
People don’t comprehend yet how exposed they have become. I’ve seen online a Discovery Engine for Internet of Things items connected worldwide. It shows home thermostats in my neighborhood, smart toys, yachts navigation systems on the bodies of water, moving planes and who knows what else. These are all potential targets of security failure.
Regulations can’t possibly catch up with the upcoming tide making it hard for pretty much anyone to control what is collected, how it is aggregated, and how it can be used. With regulators already struggling to keep order on the gathering of online consumer data, the Internet of Things threatens to make the Wild West of Internet data gathering that much wilder.
There are potential government savings in all this
Zero-marginal-cost term has emerged: Energy and food does not need to be wasted any more, at least not at today’s levels. In Barcelona, a system of sensors in municipal garbage bins keeps track of trash levels, letting collection crews schedule optimal pickup routes. On large farms level of irrigation can be made-to-need, and trucks transporting food are equipped in remote thermometers so customer receiving the load knows that temperature on his lettuce did not go beyond allowed range. Live power-consumption readings readings let utilities know exactly when consumers are using how much power, and are already allowing them to charge more at peak hours or sell power to other regions.
New business models
Traditional business model was to manufacture a product and tie it to a support contract. With networked products and new value of data that these products are constantly creating, business models have become much more complex.
Smart entrepreneurs do not want to own any of the cheap hardware that creates a lot of liability issues – it’s too much of a headache, and no money. With plummeting cost of hardware, suddenly, deploying sensors throughout cities has become remarkably cost-effective. Money is in the service offerings, networks and platforms. Battle of platforms and services rages on.
IofT created new value for Data – it becomes exponentially more valuable when aggregated. To determine new opportunities, business strategists start from the customer and ask 3 questions:
1. What are the activities the customer engages in, to procure, own, use, and dispose of our product?
2. What else is the customer close to or in contact with, when performing these activities?
3.Is there a community of participants who interact with the product beyond the primary vendor?
New opportunities come with sharing, if it can be safe and measured.
With full traceability and network advertising of accessibility of IofT devices, small businesses, organizations or communities can lend devices when not in use – i.e car pool for an apartment building or neighbourhood, rental of unused spaces, tools, sharing books, music, movies etc. Data from connected sensors can be sold. Implementation of remote communication services creates new opportunities – medical, educational, care taking, monitoring location conditions.
Knowledge opportunities are knocking: Big Data needs Big Analysts to tell us what has been lurking in massive information streams for awhile now. But first they need to forget how those things have been done so far – IofT changes everything in traditional Data Management Systems. Internet of Things is a disruptive technology. Jobs are lost, new opportunities emerge. The way we live changes rapidly.