Information everywhere about everything.

clip_image002Yesterday I was talking about the IoT concept of a Porcupine device. Something with many things attached and connected to it. Like the spines of the animal “Porcupine” with spines sticking out as a form of protection except that in the case of the device it isn’t direct protection.

You wouldn’t pick up a Porcupine because of the spines. You would however carry a cellular Porcupine around. For the most part you won’t have a lot of devices connected to your smart device directly. But you will have a lot of sensors around you. Eventually the reality of wearable sensors will creep further into the world. Tiny UV, Radiation and other set and forget sensors will be embedded in the clothes you wear. Today you can leverage the various sensors on your shoes and pockets to determine how many steps you’ve taken.

clip_image004Perhaps in the end just as simple as replacing the buttons on your shirt or blouse with sensors. Pushing that data to your phone, storing the daily trends but only warning you when the levels are within 10% of dangerous. You can, at the end of the day or before the day starts, see the trend of readings on your route. All that information at your fingertips. Add into that the intelligence of the sensors so that your day is only interrupted by out of trend or out of norm readings. You don’t hear about the temperature every 15 minutes unless it is out of the range you select. Your range predetermined by you. Like the old joke “I golf in the 70’s if it gets any hotter I stay home.”

Intelligence, wearable and in the end forgotten. Not forgotten in the sense that we don’t realize they are there. Forgotten in the sense that we don’t have to do anything to receive the information. It simply is there.

So beyond my original three categories of wearable, Stayable and Portable and in addition to my remote and near field communication types now there is the IoT management type of set and forget. An audible siren is not recommended for set and forget sensor data. When it goes off you will scramble for a couple of seconds trying to recall what the alarm is. Perhaps better to have the sensor be able to announce “the room temperature is above your preferred range.” You wouldn’t want it to announce “Where you are air quality is low” when you are in a meeting however. Perhaps it should integrate with your calendar to understand how to alert you. One meeting with a flatulent person and everyone’s smart watch suddenly flashes the air quality warning.

Intelligent sensors would also need to understand when to shut off monitoring. If you are in a train or a bus you should continue to sense the world around you. If you are in a connected car, don’t. In the end your car can have better sensors than your shirt or blouse. So defer to better quality in all cases. That means your connected car would then provide all the information it is gathering all day plus the information gathered as you drive home. Imagine a sensor system that would prevent people from lying about accidents. I wish I had that in my car last year.

Telemetry, video and all the other sensors you need for driving, and relaxing. As we move towards self-driving cars more and more data becoming available. Less and less risk when driving as well, due to people cutting you off and aggressive driving. Shutting off the auto pilot and driving aggressively would immediately notify the police. The problem in some parts of the country? The police would be running up and down stretches of highway infamous for aggressive driving. Perhaps instead if you switch off the auto pilot for anything other than enjoying a leisurely drive you get a ticket. Don’t want a ticket? But do want to drive and turn off the auto=pilot then hit the upload telemetry data button in the car so that the remote system can monitor your driving. If you aren’t aggressive then they don’t send the ticket. Don’t since or actually drive aggressively and well you get a ticket.

2 aggressive driving tickets and they disable your ignition and you have to ride public transportation. It helps the rest of us get to work safely.

The reality of the Porcupine device is coming. For the most part, actually, it is here now. On that not I have to run, the air quality in my office is declining due to Labradors.

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Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow.

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