Using IoT gateways to create managed information flows…

As the only person posting about #mysmartcity, City Broker, I guess I have to keep that dream alive with another post. Recently I’ve bene looking at IoT numbers. The reality of IoT is huge numbers. But there are is something else that has to be further explored.

Today there are IoT devise. They build and generate a massive amount of information. There are filters and systems in place that discard that information before humans see it. By discard I want to be careful, the word has multiple meanings. One of the meanings has to do with ideas and information and utilizes the computer trash can metaphor. You discard something but you don’t remove it completely you leave it in the trash can in case you need it later. That is the concept that IoT information systems use. Discard data that may not be needed and then only remove it later when humans are ready to move on.

If you think about this, it is the video feed problem. I have a video feed of the front door of my house. I only care about motion. The feed is always producing data, but only activates the recording system when there is motion. That concept is an interesting problem for IoT systems overall. First off if you think about it, there really is a pyramid here of informationclip_image002.

What if there is the need for another layer? Not an information consumption layer but a filter that reduces the information further. Let’s go back for a moment to that security camera that is motion activated. Don’t tell me when you see a rabbit. Tell me when you see something the size of a dog. That gives me a better indication of what is going on around the video feed. If you think about IoT implementations at the State level in the US or the regional government layer outside the US, there is information a State or Regional government would collect that wouldn’t be relevant to a national government. There is however meta-data that would be relevant.

An example of this would be speeding. Or more broadly speeding enforcement. The US Department of Transportation doesn’t care if you (by you I mean the you reading this) gets a speeding ticket. What they care about is regional insurance rates, and regional speeding. IE is there a stretch of highway that a lot of tickets are generated for. The IoT devices (speed cameras) that produce the data would then produce two reports. The first being the actual speeding ticket for the user, and a speeding ticket collection process to the state or regional government. Once a month the speeding ticket map (where are the most tickets generated where are the least and so on) report would move up the chain to the Department of Transportation. This data would then be mapped to the accident and fatality maps and create a better view of the road use issues for the DOT.

This information brokerage calls for two things actually. The first is an automated process to generate the data. You would create a mapped data set that includes weather, traffic flow, accidents, fatalities and finally that speeding data. Include in that locations of police officers and issuance of road rage and reckless driving citations. Layer over all of that DUI checkpoints and rise and decline of DUI tickets. All of this data could be quickly surfaced but what would give is a view not only of the roadways but of the safety of the roadways.

You can then track over time traffic variances and develop a much stronger map of the road system within the country or region. Having this map, you can then look at ways to improve traffic flow that would reduce any one of the variables in the overall road system. The variables include speeding, traffic conditions (congested, empty road) and flow in managed systems (toll based). This allows the regional government to consider things like toll free periods on toll roads to reduce congestion on other roads. Or to increase tolls at various times to push traffic to a different road. All of these data sets would have a specific regional data flow (all data) and then a more finite national flow (aggregated data sets) that beg not only for the use of an IoT protocol gateway (such as BlueMix or Azure) but also for the broader concept of an IoT broker integrated into the Smart City Broker model.


Internet of things dreamer