Will the Internet of Things need the “Clapper” ?

Happy New Year !


With the new year comes economic worries with world oil prices dropping: good news for the consumer but not good for global economies it would seem. Which led me to thinking about the trending discussions.  One in particular: The Internet of Things, in that more and more sensors, devices, machines, people, networks are becoming more connected.  I used to talk about the fact that more and more “end points” would get an IP address and with IP 6 this seems to have happened.  Gate sensors to lightbulbs now are gaining access to the networked world.

I recently presented at a conference in Poland on “decision making in times of endangerment” and one area I discussed was how all of the moving parts of an information system needs to be reduced to the simplest form of consumption.  A fire fighter enters an area that is known to contain hazardous material or a soldier suffers a concussion from an IED in combat.  The position and/or motion captures data which is then interpreted by the big data and analytics within an information system to then quickly respond to indicate that the firefighter should leave ( a flashing light on his jacket) or that a soldier should be treated for concussion (data captured at point of impact) all allowing decisions to be made but with the lowest common denomitator of interface (a light flashing).

In enterprise systems we seem to be grasping the internet of things well such as: applying them to Smarter Cities (water management, emergency response, traffic etc).  

However, when you think of having your house connected and things like lightbulbs, door locks and appliances; the concept works well when you are away from the location or approaching it (location services).  But, the closer you get to that lightbulb it becomes more complicated.  Do you physically turn the light off thereby shutting down internet access to the switch or do you pull out your smartphone and turn it off ? Or do you clap your hands ?

The promise of the internet of things is wonderfully exciting but we need to constantly question if we are making things simpler or more complex.  

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