We have a dog at home, a cairn terrier. The kids love him and he seems to like them, no one bitten yet. The trouble with terriers is that they are runners. When you open the front door, if you don’t have a good grip on him he bolts down the driveway and disappears into the suburb. If it’s raining, he will run up and down the gutter like a demented fool, barking at the runoff. It’s a typical terrier trait apparently, an independent mind. They can’t be walked off the lead due to their inability to control their curiosity. We’ve lost him twice but luckily, the friendly locals have cornered him somewhere and called the number on his tag.
I’m thinking of putting our dog on the internet. A GPS collar around the neck will alert me to an escape, let me track it, even plot its exercise regime for goodness sake.
This is the internet of things (IoT) at work, and this sort of connection of the everyday in our life is going to become ubiquitous. It all started with that first internet fridge back in 2000. Personally, I never got that. It had a screen on the front door that you could browse the web on and a barcode scanner to help with the shopping list. No one else got it either because it cost $20,000!
Nowadays it is different, seriously different. Basic internet-aware devices now only cost a few dollars. Bulk volumes of RFID tags cost less than a cent. And their purpose is to automatically trigger events for us to help do what needs to be done when it needs to be done and be able to forget about it the rest of the time. Go find the dog. Water the garden. Switch off the home air-con from the holiday house. Useful but pretty mundane really. Here’s an interesting one – a Wi-Fi light bulb. However, the internet of things is going to revolutionise business and the environment we live in: smart cities with traffic management; healthcare, medication monitoring; environment, air and water quality; agriculture, ground moisture; financial services, pay-as-you-drive insurance. The list is long.
There are two sides to this: the monitoring of the status and the process response to a change in status. The monitoring of things has been around for eons and is referred to as operational technology. Many industries such as mining, oil & gas, manufacturing, power generation, etc use sensor technology to monitor, record and control equipment. But as IoT rolls out all these extra millions (billions?) of things saying “I’m OK”, “I’m OK”, “I’m OK” every couple of seconds will need to pour their data into some bucket or other. The cloud, of course, is perfect for this. All that ridiculous amount of disk storage available in the monster data centres of the world.
And then there is the process response to a change in status, “I’m not OK!”, or, “I may be OK but I’m not absolutely sure!” What is someone to do when an event is triggered? After millions of “no action required” data points, suddenly some one or thing needs to do something. That’s where you need to integrate the data feed with an application that can trigger an event, assign it a priority and work task, and traffic it to a satisfactory outcome that can be reported and audited. See how XMPro solves this problem.
You can read more about Professional Advantage and XMPro here.