Consider the following example.
You are going to hospital for a hip operation. The chances are, very soon, your surgeon will be wearing a pair of Google Google Glasses Enterprise Edition (or something similar) and the replacement joint will have been 3D printed with embedded sensors in-situ following a 3D scan and X-ray. Everything conducted during surgery itself will be transmitted directly to your EHR (Electronic Health Records) in real-time via the wearable device(s) your surgeon has. The sensors in the 3D printed hip joint are already recording your vital signs, again in real-time.
You leave the hospital, and are given a recovery plan together with another wearable device, much like a JawboneUP wristband. The sensors in your hip are now connected to the wristband which also monitors your movements, and that data is transmitted to your patient records for your local GP who can observe how your recovery is going in line with the recovery plan. Your wristband also ‘reminds’ you when it’s time to take your meds, and via RFID/ Near Field Comms will warn you if you’re about to reach for the wrong bottle.
All that data is constantly fed to the GP who can alter your recovery plan in line with your progress, or even combine it with other patients who have been through a similar procedure and adjust automatically, in real-time, according to trends which may benefit you even more.
Your medical insurance and future premiums will also be adjusted according to how your recovery is going, whether you stick or deviate to your planned convalescence.
Now we get into deeper connected territory.
Your utilities company could be made aware of your situation, and via your patient wristband and interface to your smart home, adjust your electricity and gas plan in line with your limited mobility. No point having a smart home and a dumb utilities provider. Smart thermostats, smart lights, smart household appliances all can switch on and off and learn your patterns as you recover. Your wristband could switch off the TV for example if you take a snooze on the couch by monitoring your inactivity.
As you recover, you become more mobile. Your connected car transmits it’s location as you drive, anything ‘smart’ that is geofenced becomes activated as you draw near, again switching on the heating at the right temperature in advance before you reach home. In fact, your car may not even allow you to drive at all because the associated triggers in your recovery haven’t been set to allow you to, so it drives you instead.
Your house and smart possessions will be collectively more intelligent than you by 2020, but the experience will become hyper-personalized.
In the above lifestyle example, consider the industries that were actually connected by it all:
- Consumer Wearables and Homeware
The data itself is the key to unlocking a number of benefits, and how we act on that data.
Which leads to the three core elements to achieving success in the Internet Of Things.
The Value Is In The Data, Not The Thing
IDC claims that we only analyze 0.5% of the data being generated globally right now. The typical human obsession over the size and scale of the Internet of Things (Gartner says 26 billion connected devices by 2020, Cisco says 50 billion, Morgan Stanley says 75 billion) has become the illogical focus by analysts, attention shouldn’t be on the Things or the Internet, but on the Data that’s going to be generated.
In fact, data is going to change a lot more than just the internet. Data will affect business models as technology platform providers struggle to sell their solutions based on value propositions decades old. Larry Ellison just announced that “the Oracle Cloud is complete.” Cloud is already looking outdated now. Selling on the value, transport and analytics of the data rather than the infrastructure to hold it is king.
But unlocking that value and the relevance may be the tricky part. You may not be aware of the relevance of the data you possess in because finding the information to put it all in context isn’t clear or immediately apparent, so how can you look for it ?
And how does someone else who may need it for their own decision making ?
And so the Relevance Paradox exists:
“This occurs when an individual or a group of professionals are unaware of certain essential information which would guide them to make better decisions, and help them avoid inevitable and undesirable consequences. These professionals will seek only the information and advice they believe is the bare minimum amount required as opposed to what they actually need to fully meet their own or the organization’s goals.”
As the full potential of the Internet of Things grows so does the need to unlock the relevance of the data being generated. It was never about the size of the information (again, that human desire to compare stats…)
This is where the next two elements of IoT are critical in realising value.
Distributed/ Edge Computing Are Key For In-Situ Analytics