IoT, The Syncverse and the dream of interconnection…

I wonder.

I post that from time to time on my various social media sites. Just the two words I wonder. Because frankly I do wonder and do wonder often. Not that they are deep thoughts meant to change the world. Rather that I have the thoughts and I don’t know what to do with them. Or at times they are deep thoughts and I wonder why they came to me.

Yesterday I was think about a heated driveway. You know simply switch on the heater in the concrete of your driveway and when you wake up there is no snow to remove. It all melted. You would need a driveway that was elevated in the center so that in the end the water would run off to the sides and not pool where your driveway meets the street (that would result in an ice skating rink). Why couldn’t you do that? You can in the end but it isn’t very practical in terms of money spent. But sometimes that is the quality of the wondering.

Other times I get a topic in my head and I start expanding the concept. Recently on this blog that has been the concept of IoT. I broke IoT into three distinct categories (wearable, stayable and portable). One of the wonders for me was the automatic umbrella. The minute it detects rain it opens, I kyboshed that idea when I realized like most people I keep my umbrella in my bag so auto opening would in the end only be messy. Based on the Andreessen Horowitz report yesterday though I wondered about the interconnection of 15 of the projects they detailed.

What in the end would the impact of a connected world be?

First we are connected today. By connected I mean the future projects that were detailed by A-H in their report. The 16th project was crowd funding, while you could connect that in the end it is consumer of connection not a connected system. That was the missing piece for me that I realized last night. A connected system is what I am looking for. IoT, medical devices and ultimately cloud both specific and personal driving secure containers. In the end it as simple as connected systems.

The complexity lies in the connection itself rather than the systems. In my book The Syncverse I introduced a concept I called the Myverse. A place in the end where I could control the connections to me. A place where my mobile medical records would be stored. Not my complete history just the things a doctor having to preform emergency surgery would need to know (allergies, current prescriptions and previous traumatic events). My company could share relevant information that I needed for my job into my Myverse. Friends could view things I shared from my Myverse to their Myverse like photos, videos and other fun things.

I came to realize that the connections need to have a home. That in effect the reality of connectivity is the creation of the interconnections. In order to have interconnections there has to be a control system and model.  For example my Myverse could include home security, business security and information about the world around me. I might let Waze or CoPilot publish into my Myverse the traffic that I am going to see. The way I do that is I publish not only my location data but also my calendar to only those applications.

Just-in-time data could appear in my Myverse from my company related to events on my calendar. (you are seeing X customer, here are their last 10 orders). Companies that today provide managed information could continue to do so. Offering subscriptions to the data feeds they have would be a great way to move the world of print books to the digital age. The kindle becoming the digital research device – connected to libraries. Imagine libraries that are no longer buildings filled with books but instead are wi-fi hotspots with chairs and couches. They could be much smaller in the end.

The reality of interconnection in the end is you have to have a starting point. In The Syncverse I brought up the Myverse as a great starting point. It is effectively still a great place to start. It isn’t in the end about presenting all the information at once rather it is about presenting the information the person needs when they need it.


Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow.