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Internet Of Everything: Connecting Things Is Just Step One
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PeteJW
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PeteJW,
User Rank: Strategist
12/11/2013 | 5:29:00 AM
Re: Good device information leads to better energy use
Yes, I think the really exciting point of IOT isn't the connections per se, but some of the management intelligence use cases -- especially in areas such as transportation, energy and healthcare. 
PeteJW
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PeteJW,
User Rank: Strategist
12/11/2013 | 5:22:59 AM
Re: More Than Cool
Yep, good point -- connected trust and identity-centric security will become increasingly important as more connections become established.

 
cbabcock
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cbabcock,
User Rank: Strategist
12/9/2013 | 11:55:20 PM
Good device information leads to better energy use
Just collecting information from devices isn't a big step forward, but creating the opportunity to integrate it into a larger picture certainly is. We've already learned it's cheaper to run the washer and dryer in the middle of the night. But there are dozens of other ways we could better manage our energy consumption. Our computer screens and TVs consume a trickle of electricity all day just so the screen fills up when we touch a button to turn them on. What if that trickle turned itself off during the day and back on only after we've crossed the threshold. Ditto for people who need a computer or a local wireless network up and running when they're in the house. In many cases they run continuously, not when they're needed. By integrating the device information, you can begin to apply some usage intelligence and make a big difference in consumption patterns.
Michael Endler
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Michael Endler,
User Rank: Author
12/9/2013 | 6:00:46 PM
Re: More Than Cool
Very true. I don't think Sony or Samsung is attracting anyone to their smartwatches. The funcitonality is just lacking. And yeah, I steer clear of Web MD because it frequently leads me to conclude I have contracted the plague. The potential for wearable fitness devices to cause the same sort of unnecessary hysteria is immense.

But Apple is reportedly stockpiling fitness experts, and I don't think they'd release a major product if they weren't confident in the UI. Maybe the iWatch will have nothing to do with fitness, and maybe Apple will just mothball the whole thing.  But where there's smoke, there's often fire, and I'm very interested to see what Apple comes up with. Ditto for Microsoft's rumored wearable product, as I think they know it can't be a Surface-branded Galaxy watch clone. Whatever these near-term products are, they will still be a long ways from the kind of pervasive sensing technologies that I was referring to, but as the tech evolves, the implications are profound.
ChrisMurphy
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ChrisMurphy,
User Rank: Author
12/9/2013 | 5:36:27 PM
Re: More Than Cool
A company doesn't have to be evil to lose trust. Companies lose trust with incompetence, too. To the healthcare example -- how many false positives before you chuck some monitoring device and decide it's not worth the effort?   
Michael Endler
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Michael Endler,
User Rank: Author
12/9/2013 | 5:30:41 PM
Re: More Than Cool
Great point. IoT applications will only succeed if they capture the right data and turn it into something actionable and useful. But even compelling use cases might not be enough if users don't trust companies with their data. Like I wrote in response to the iBeacon story from a few days ago, I think wearable technology could add years to a person's life-- but I also fear that it will help generate some sort of dystopian credit score-like rating that determines health insurance rates. Lots of IoT issues like this one will get thorny as the most disruptive applications come along.
ChrisMurphy
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ChrisMurphy,
User Rank: Author
12/9/2013 | 5:03:57 PM
Re: More Than Cool
Internet of things use cases need one other element: trust. Do consumers trust you enough to let their device connect? Think of all the companies that launched gee whiz mobile apps only to have consumers tell them "sorry, you and I don't have that kind of relationship."
Thomas Claburn
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Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
12/9/2013 | 3:15:26 PM
Re: More Than Cool
>While an Internet-connected home thermostat may look cool and its uses may sound cool, what is it really adding?

The Nest thermostat is an interesting case. I got one and installed it myself. It's not life-changing by any means, but it's nice to look at. It would matter more if I had air conditioning (many homes in San Francisco don't have that), which is more discretionary than heating. The thing about data is just having it isn't enough. You have to be able to take action on it easily and affordable for it to be worthwhile.

 
digital_commute
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digital_commute,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/9/2013 | 1:05:40 PM
plugaway
There is also a kickstarter campaign going on at the moment, by the creators of plugaway. They also want to fill the gap between existing devices and the possibilities of digitally communicating with them: http://www.digital-commute.com/plugaway-plugs-led-smart-home-app/
RobPreston
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RobPreston,
User Rank: Author
12/9/2013 | 10:36:22 AM
More Than Cool
Ultimately, the success of any Internet of things application will hinge on how useful/indispensable it becomes. While an Internet-connected home thermostat may look cool and its uses may sound cool, what is it really adding? "What if the thermostat could self-regulate based on household activity or adjust according to weather patterns?" My standalone home thermostat already adjusts according to weather patterns--it maintains the temperature I set it at regardless of outside weather. And it doesn't need to be connected to the Internet to be set to push the heat up 15 minutes before I get up in the morning and down when I normally go to bed. We need to move beyond Internet-connected refigerators and toasters and thermostats to applications like central monitoring of farm equipment or car parts or train wheels to anticipate breakdowns. That's exciting, really practical stuff. 

 


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