IoT The Next Big Thing :
When people talk about “the next big thing,” they never think big enough. It’s not a lack of imagination. It’s a lack of observation. I have claimed that the future is always in sight and you don’t have to imagine what is already there.
A typical example: the enthusiasm for the Internet of Things.
What’s the buzz? The Internet of Things revolves around increased machine-to-machine communication. It is based on cloud computing and networks of sensors for data acquisition. It is a mobile, virtual and instant connection. and they say it will “wise” everything in our lives from street lamps to seaports.
But this is what I mean when I say that people don’t think big enough. Much of the chatter has centered on machine-to-machine (M2M) communications: devices that talk to similar devices. But a machine is an instrument, it’s a tool, it’s something that physically does something. When we talk about making machines “intelligent”, we are not referring exclusively to M2M. We’re talking about sensors.
A sensor is not a machine. It doesn’t do anything in the same sense as a machine. It measures, it evaluates; In short, it collects data. The Internet of Things really comes together with the connection of sensors and machines. That is, the real value that the Internet of Things creates lies at the interface between collecting and using data. All the information gathered by all the sensors in the world is not worth much if there is no infrastructure to analyze it in real time.
Cloud-based applications are key to leveraging leverage data. The Internet of Things will not work without cloud-based applications to interpret and transmit the data from all these sensors. The cloud enables the apps to work for you anytime, anywhere.
Let’s look at an example. In 2007, a bridge collapsed in Minnesota, killing many people due to steel plates being insufficient to support the bridge. When rebuilding bridges, we can use smart cement: cement with sensors to monitor tension, cracks and faults. This is cement that warns us to fix problems before they cause disaster. And these technologies are not limited to the structure of the bridge.
If there is ice on the bridge, the same sensors in the concrete detect it and transmit the information to your car over the wireless internet. As soon as your car knows that there is danger ahead, it will instruct the driver to slow down. If the driver doesn’t do this, the car will slow down for them. This is just one of the ways in which communication from sensor to machine and from machine to machine can take place. Sensors on the bridge connect to machines in the car: we turn information into action.
You may see the effects here. What can you achieve when a smart car and a smart city grid talk to each other? We will carry out the traffic flow optimization because we not only have traffic lights on fixed timers, but intelligent traffic lights that can react to changes in the traffic flow. The traffic and road conditions are communicated to the drivers and diverted around them, where they are overloaded, snowed in or stuck under construction.
Now we have sensors that monitor and track all kinds of data. We have cloud-based apps that convert this data into useful information and transmit it to on-site machines to enable real-time mobile responses. And so bridges become intelligent bridges and cars become intelligent cars. And soon we will have smart cities and …
Okay. What are the advantages here? What are the savings? Which industries can this be applied to?
That’s what I mean when I say that people never think big enough. This is not just about saving money. It’s not about bridges and it’s not about cities. This is a big and fundamental change. When we start doing things smart, it will be an important engine for the development of new products and services.
Of all the technology trends currently taking place, the Internet of Things is perhaps the biggest. It is the one that gives us the most disruption and opportunity over the next five years. In my next post in this two-part series, we’ll examine just how big this will be.