The conflict I see between IoT (or more broadly if we include the integration and management layers Cyber Physical Systems) and the world around us is the reality of software. As a technologist, I have seen, found and use software that has changed the world. But what was once accepted has now changed. The concept of that software however, has changed. What once was installed software that you loaded from a DVD (or CD) or even a Floppy Disk you now download the software. The complexity of software has also changed radically. Yes, there are still large desktop applications, but now there are more and more applications that are actually what I call bite-sized.
Bite sized applications perform one function, well. They may (or may not) interact with an IoT object to provide the information they are presenting. NetATMO is a great toolset, they provide home connected weather stations. You can, quickly using your cellular phone or tablet find out what the actual temperature is outside your door. The IoT devices (wind, rain, outside temperature and air quality, indoor temperature and air quality) are then provided to you in a simple application that is a web page presented on your mobile device. I have one on each level of my hosue so that I can adjust both heating and cooling to reduce heating and cooling costs. My basement is cool in the summer (dark and close to the ground) whereas the upper part of my hosue is warmer. So, I push air down from the ceiling as far as I can towards the basement. I get progress reports by watching all three temperature gauges on my NetATMO screen.
There are other bit sized applications I use frequently. INRIX and Waze are two that rely on remote traffic gathering services to provide me with a view of what my traffic situation is, using colors that are easy to see (red and green) I can quickly tell if I am on the right path to get home.
That is the big initial change driven by IoT devices. As we had further down the path of connection and automation there will be bite sized applications whose sole purpose is linking multiple bite sized application services into a unified screen. Traffic isn’t relevant to boaters. But GPS, with an overlay of radar and weather radar is very important to boaters. Drivers care more about the road in front of them boaters care about the water all around them.
But beyond that change, where there are glue applications that function across multiple bite sized applications it the interesting reality of software. We won’t move away from Monolithic operating systems. Even android at this point is a pretty big monolith. But what will change over time is how we consume the applications on those myriads of devices we leverage every day. We will move to the ever-increasing reality of bite sized applications that provide us with information quickly. The reality of internet searches will continue, but information gathering will be focused. You see, frankly, that is the true of the information age. When I can answer more than 50% of the questions I have every single day with a bite sized application, and I don’t have to search, then the information age has arrived.
Why is that? Frankly searches are important but they waste time. Every search you conduct increases the ability of the system to respond to your searching needs, but the reality of those searches is you are shooting at pigeons in a bar n with your eyes closed. Yes, you may hit one, or you may shoot yourself in the foot. But you won’t shoot all the pigeons. Bite sized, focused information system applications will give you the tools needed to remove the pigeons from the barn. Yes, you can, if so inclined still shoot them. Or you can produce a noise that will drive them out of the barn humanly. Now if you are driving them out of the barn into a blizzard we would probably drop the humanly part. But the concept is simple. You get the focused information you need to complete a task. This is presented in a bite-sized or small window on your device. If the information to be presented doesn’t fit the device, then the user is notified, hey I can’t show you what you want to see, you need to connect to a monitor (my Screen as a Service concept).
In the age of information, we will have data presented to us that is focused, concise and fits our style, needs and displays on the device we have. If, the system needs a larger screen than you are prompted to do so. Nexdock, is a portable screen for mobile devices that is very impressive in its abilities.
The information age will not dawn with the creation of massive amounts of information. It dawns with the birth of applications that give you what you need, when you need it.
Bite Sized Blogger