Internet of things (IOT) has been the buzzword at CES 2015 – a global Consumer Electronics Show(CES) being held in the US – more like the ASK show here in Kenya but for electronics. All cool next generation devices that companies are planning to launch in future are announced here, from hover boards which BTW were promised to us by 2015 to crazy stuff like self-triggering gun for hunting and all. Internet of thing might be the next tipping point like what internet did for technology in the 90s,mobile phones in the 2000s, apps in 2010, IOT will do in the 20s.
Let’s take a step back and just understand what IOT means, don’t try goggling – you won’t get any help there. The explanation is too vague. The basic explanation I have is based on examples. Ever heard of smart tech chip that can be put on a baby’s diaper and an alarm goes off in a mobile if the baby wets itself? That’s IOT. A key app that buzzes you when you forget to lock your door, that’s IOT. A fridge that tells alerts you when your food is about to go bad or better yet when is the expiry date of the products inside nears. That’s IOT
The interconnection of devices to the internet is what is being referred to as Internet of Things. Samsung CEO during a keynote speech at CES said that all Samsung devices will be based on internet of things and open to all devices that can connect to them. This is a very big commitment from a manufacturer that basically makes everything from Kitchen appliances to washing machines. Interestingly according to Accenture the uptake will not be fast as the previous frontiers, according to research only 41% said they would consider getting IOT products in 5 years versus the 12% that are comfortable purchasing one now.
What might accelerate the uptake?
However I believe the uptake can be accelerated by Big data, if you combine big data with Internet of thing technologies you create very powerful and useful tools, Last year I was lucky enough to attend a SAP Big data event in Nairobi. They shed light on what they are doing combining Big Data and IOT using their Business intelligence tool to provide real time analytical data. SAP has implemented its HANA solution in a wind mill power plant up North in the artic. Due to the extreme condition up there it’s very costly to perform repair and maintenances and any downtime cost the millions of dollars. Using Sensors and SAP HANA they are able to receive data on performances of each windmill from blade speed, wear and tear on moving parts, heat condition, therefore it’s easier to schedule maintenance or replacement months in advance avoiding unnecessary downtimes.
Using the same technology with Pirelli, Pirelli is able to optimise its tires functionality and ordering process, by installing sensor on the tire Pirelli are able to collect data on the condition of the tire and when client is due to place an order and also recommend they best type of tires depending on various factors based on the collected data optimizing the value for money for its clients.
Watch other use cases big data and Internet of thing have been used create very valuable solutions here. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aNoDXJOgLmQ&list=PLFC8C5FD91625B706
In light of what we just learnt I believe its pretty cool to have an app that tells me that my tires lifetime cycle, or a fridges that tells me that milk is about to expire and for the future fathers, an app that tells you when it’s time to change the baby’s diaper,
Big Data plus Internet of things, i would bet on that to revolutionise the industry, once its cheap enough to be applied on consumer goods.