Pre-Meeting ritual, turn off watch, turn off phone, turn off computer. Why? There is no off button for the Internet of Things.

The conversation had just begun. In earnest, a discussion of what was possible. We were sitting in my office to have the conversation. The problem was all the noise. We couldn’t hear each other. I guess it is hard to have a conversation with many other conversations going on at the same time.

“Alexa Stop.” Was the first thing I said cutting out the music. The room was still a babbling brook of noise. Each stream of conversation wrapping around our conversation and drowning it out with the noise.

“I am putting my phone on vibrate.” I said reducing the noise a little more. The constant chirp of announcements now gone from the room. But still it was more ambient noise than a conversation enjoys. So once more into the breech.

I pressed the off button for all notifications. The easy button of IoT. The one button that rules them all and well in this case in the silence binds them.

Between two applications on Sunday August 22, 2016 I got 123 notifications. Just two applications on my device that I am connected to that aren’t even IoT driven services. True that it was the last day of a 31st Olympiad so ESPN was churning out a larger than usual number of notifications. Facebook was bouncing around a lot as well but it wasn’t the number two talker. The number two talker on my device on Sunday was my weather station. An IoT device that was pumping out NWS warnings and changes in forecast at a rate of almost 4 every half hour.

One of the things that IoT will generate is the concept of information overload. Information overload has two distinct reasons for being problematic. Information you need to have and information that impacts what you are doing directly.

How we filter information is an interesting problem. As discussed on this blog and many others the IoT universe generates much more data today than is consumed. Probably factors more than 3 or 4 times as much data is produced as is consumed.

That said, the number of IoT devices in the world is set to triple. The filtering system for users has to get better as more and more devices appear. Otherwise we will end up with a meeting that is drowned out by notifications.

We need to off button to the Internet of Things.

I’ve talked before about building a notification system with the many Screen as a Service device that are soon to be, or on the market the market now. That simple filtering process will allow the user to manage the notification noise better.

The devices I’ve talked about in that SCRaaS space include:

· Smart Watch (such as pebble)

· Laptop screen/keyboard for your smart phone (such as Nexdock)

· Managed additional cellphone screen (such as Popslate)

The three are either shipping now, or soon. The smart watch allows you to publish specific notifications to it. The advantage is you can dismiss the ones you don’t need quickly. Popslate allows you to publish more details information on the second screen of your cell phone (that PopSlate adds) and finally the concept of a laptop type replacement allows you to interact with larger data presentations via an external screen for your cell phone. All of these then allow to increase your interaction with the notifications’ without the notifications drowning you out. You manage and control what gets to you and where it is displayed.

That would just be the start. Having a single application, you can then use to manage the SCRaaS process and define what is placed on which screen is the next step. A notification manager that would become your best friend. THE OFF BUTTON! Yes, having a single application managing all the notifications would create the off button. You could even automate the off button by having it read your calendar to see if you are busy.

The Internet of Things, eventually will become the Internet of things that are smart. Not, by putting smart in the marketing name. But by actually presenting the user with smart options!


BaaS (blogger as a Service)