IoT, the world of connections made easy…

IoT is about extending the connections you have with devices. I suspect at some point soon that will expand to social extensions as well. The “Twitter Bug©” a wearable device with a 140 character screen that connects to your smart phone and shows you Twitter feed as it flows across your day. You could also have a Facebook Bug© and so on. Where the device connects to your social feed and increases your connection to that feed.

clip_image002I won’t throw out my oft repeated there isn’t enough bandwidth available argument. I have now argued that for 5 years. The end game is that there is an upper limit to bandwidth. When we saturate the network we have we can’t lay another over it. So eventually we will have to deal with the ever increasing problem. You can speed up one part of a system but if the overall system isn’t improved all you are doing is delaying the problem you are going to have.

The number of IoT connections in our lives is increasing. Most people today (talking about Mandated IoT devices) are using car phones. Holding a cellular device in your hand while driving is not safe. Car phones are a little safer but in the end there are a number of sensors that cars should have that would make talking on the phone even safer. Distance between you and another car is a good sensor. Distance of the car behind you as well. Of course, the problem would be how you alarm that data. If you have a beeping noise for too close aggressive drivers will set that off for everyone including themselves. For some aggressive drivers the beeping will never stop.

clip_image004Additional connections beyond your car will continue to increase productivity. Today many people don’t attend meetings in person to multi-task. What that is nicely saying is that your meeting isn’t relevant to my day. I am attending because I was asked to, but I am working on something else during the call. With personal presence devices attendance is a lot more real. It is hard to “multi-task” when there is a camera watching everything you do. Many of the on-line meeting systems today support multiple images on the screen of people who are mote but are connected with a camera. Going back to the dawn of the Internet would you call someone attending a meeting without a camera a lurker?

The reality of all these connections is that bandwidth is a concern. First off because your device may not have the available capacity to manage a lot of inputs. IT isn’t a bandwidth issue at that point it is a memory and processor issue. Having a way to throttle complex information will be critical. Intelligent sensors and devices that only broadcast changes are the first step in this. The next step is something that goes back to my concept of the screen-as-a-service. Pay attention to the device I am using to access the device that is sharing. Make sure you don’t overwhelm my device (too much data makes the screen too small or too much data overwhelms the processor in my device). If it is one of the overwhelm data situations notify me to switch to a device or screen that can handle the information.

clip_image006Now you could also have smart devices that are able to take some of the load from your phone. The example would be smart projectors. LCD projects have advanced over the past three years. What once was simple a device you connected to (sometimes directly sometimes over a network) now includes a processor and the ability to manage some of the overall capacity. Dos Owls has a great device that they call ODIN. This projector includes an android kernel. So you can effectively off-load any number of applications that are available for android devices. Instead of using your phone as a connected device and sharing from the phone you can use the android projector to handle some of the processing. Get an email with the current sales data for your organization? Connect your phone to ODIN and view that information where you are easily on a big enough screen to make the data useful.

IoT is about connection. To the world, to information and in the end to things we haven’t even dreamed of yet, quickly and easily.

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Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow.