Heading down the path of designing Smart Devices….

A single smart device. First off you have to ask what makes the device smart? Is it the information you have on the device, or the information you can get? Because in that case the user is smart, not the device. Is it that the device can learn? The new Apple Maps using analytics to track your commute. When I get to my car (about the same time every day) Apple Maps tells me its 85 minutes to Maryland. Now that 85 minutes isn’t always true (mostly its more) but you get the idea. It is the result of collecting data (my GPS tracks) and analyzing that to produce a consistent trend (where do I go and how long will it take).

The mix of analysis and data is of course the great reality of what has been called “Big Data” the past few years. The implementation of data analysis provides an interesting reality. First off today we are talking about 110 zB of data (Zeta Bytes) produced by the IoT/CPS devices of the world.

See the thing is there is that much data produced, its really not the internet of things. Its why Cyber Physical Systems represent a much better overall name. CPS allows for the automation and collection of data that comes from IoT devices. Resulting in the broader internet of data. You see the data is the real value of CPS devices. There are 10 billion or so devices deployed today. They produce 110 zB of data. It’s the data that people are chasing.

This brings me to my actual topic for today the presentation of that data. Data analytics are awesome. It is something that will become, frankly already is a game changer. Its depressing knowing its 88 minutes to my house. Its more depressing to have no traffic at all and suddenly be in the world’s fifth largest parking lot for 144 minutes. I would rather know my fate than come upon it unaware.

So the data produced is massive. If you do the math it is nearly a zB of data produced every month. No one person could go through all that information. But more importantly the value of the information is two fold.

  • How is the collection of data managed
  • How is the data presented to the actual consumer

The first one is all about Cyber Resilience. Creating an infrastructure and application layer that are designed to fail. Creating a multi-zone cloud implementation that allows for the entire system to fail and remain active.

In the second bullet there are two themes of mine that have been on this blog before. The bandwidth of the device the user is using to access the information and the screen the information is presented on.

I have formula for the screen and data combination. The density of data is proportional to the size of the presentation screen. In the old days we used to talk about 3 tier applications. User layer, business process layer and finally the data layer. If we maintain that view of modern applications but instead do the following:

  • Presentation layer (the direct interaction with the user and how do we provide secure access at the device level)
  • Transportation layer (how does the data get there and how is it secured while it is moving)
  • Storage and compute layer (where the data exists, where most analytics are preformed and where we provide both the presentation layer and storage layer security).

The architectural diagram for this lies over the N-Tier application. For the last bullet we create a security map. Where is the data at any point in the process and what security principles are applied at any particular point.

Our transportation layer looks at the total available bandwidth for the user. Cramming a zB down a 14..4kbs pipe does no one any good. Plus the user will be downloading that data for the foreseeable future and I doubt they have a zB of available local storage.

Finally formatting and screen presentation. I have talked about bandwidth and the reality of what is coming there. The screen is the next big hurdle. Moving to the broad concept of the screen as a service makes this whole thing work. It has to be secure but we have to have a flexible screen.

Your smart device should, along with telling you its 88 minutes to your house say “please find a larger screen for this data. There are 8 screens near you to use. One of them is secure shall I push your information to the secure screen?

The smart device offers options. Automated structured options that help you consume the data you need to consume and act on the data you need to act on.


Smart Device Dreamer….