"Internet of Things" has been a phrase thrown around for a while now, but that doesn't mean it's tired and old hat. On the contrary I believe we're on the verge of a whole new era. We're poised to take all of the electronic and computing advances of the last fifty years and make a great leap forward, soon we won't be operating our devices, they'll simply do what we want them to do, with minimal intervention on our part.
Not Everything Is Online
These 'things' we discuss don't even need to be connected to the internet directly; currently we (the S. P. Keasey Trading Co. are working on a project which involves magnetic card readers. These cards are things, and they're not online, but they can still be utilised with other hardware to result in more online data providing allowing for further analytical opportunities. In essence the internet of things comes down to sensors, measuring all kinds of scenarios, from light and sound levels, temperature via thermostats and more. Connecting those sensors to the online world generates usable information, and when the systems we work with can modify the environment those sensors work in we really start dabbling in the realm of magic.
When talking about customers, the aim of the game is delight. Delight through blissful ignorance of automation, delight through improved services and products without extra effort on behalf of the consumer, and delight in those experiments performed in the name of art, or simply for the hell of it. I'm positive that with advances in human-computer interaction (via brain interfaces and the like) the world we occupy in ten years will make some of the science fiction predictions of the future seem akin to stone age. The important thing for companies will be to make the most of these technologies to serve their customers, not to waste the data they collect for marketing purposes only.
Join The Discussion
Later this month there is another #CloudCrowd event taking place in Sydney, and the focus will be a discussion revolving around the Internet of Things. I'm excited to be on a panel with Mark Pesce, the founder of MooresCloud and purveyor of seriously cool, internet connected, Holiday lights, and Reid Carlberg. If you're reading this and don't know who Reid is then I'd be astonished; he a Senior Director of Evangelism at Salesforce.com, and spends a considerable amount of time making many of us jealous as he tinkers with various gadgets and devices. So if you're around Sydney on the 28th of March and fancy joining the discussion, please join the LinkedIn group and sign up!