Introducing IoT the Internet of tomorrow…(ps and longer battery life!!!!!)

clip_image002Single rain gauge with Wi-Fi connections seeking weather station for long term relationship. Hobbies include measuring rainfall, measuring rainfall rate and sharing information.

Connections are interesting, everyone seeks them but we aren’t always prepared for the cost. Take for instance the singles add seen above. A rain gauge seeking a long term relationship with a weather station. Why a weather station? Well the relevance of the rain data (amount, total and rate) really fit better with a weather station than with a home security system.

IoT makes many more connections possible. That will continue to expand. More and more devices will become “connected” in the near term. From lonely rain gauges seeking someone to talk to (and ultimately dump the data it’s been storing to) and peek around the corner video feeds there devices everywhere.

clip_image004So what capabilities of connection lie just beyond the horizon? What is may yet be?

As more and more devices expand into the IoT space actually the horizon is interesting. First off many device today aren’t connected. The majority of devices today are not connected. But they will be soon. Initially your refrigerator will tell you what you don’t have. Eventually the software and monitors in your house will be able to tell you simply over the phone what you do not currently have. I want to make the following dinners this week:

· Teriyaki with rice and asparagus

· BBQ chicken thighs with corn bread and broccoli

· Chicken noodle soup with baby carrots

You submit that list to your home automation system and it wanders around your house determining what you do and don’t currently have. Then when you hit the store it will text you the shopping list for the three dinners.

Easy.

Of course in some cases with larger stores you have to get that text before you go into the store as often service isn’t great in the store. So perhaps free Wi-Fi in the store and the system emails you and texts you thus verifying information receipt.

Aclip_image006 whole lot of connections for our devices. What is the one thing that drains your battery faster than anything? Wi-Fi and Bluetooth consume the most power. So beyond the reality of bandwidth (and I have discussed that to the point of well beating a long dead horse) there is the reality of the battery in your devices.

Batteries and Bandwidth are going to be the big hurdle to overcome in the next iteration of IoT devices. It won’t be the battery in stationary IoT devices, those can be augmented by solar power or other means. It will be the battery in the device you are using to connect to the information. The available information is going to increase. For example you have a preference on your Teriyaki as to how you like it cooked and how much flavor you want the meat to have. Both of those things require prep work. So the system will need to notify you that it is time to do that.

The system also needs to notify you of risky conditions (weather warnings) and things like water leaks in your house. Impending work deadlines also need to be a notification. Wouldn’t it be nice is IoT extended to all the calendars in your life? Where all the calendars and phone numbers and emails all went to one place that you only had to manage one inbox?

Lots of connections. Lots of drain on your battery. More and more bandwidth needed. IoT the Internet of Tomorrow, is going to change a lot of things.

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Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow