There has been much discussion as of late on what the Internet of Things (IoT) means and how does it impact and relate to the world we live in. The way I see it is IoT is an important aspect to the overall Internet Ecosystem and is and will continue to play a key role in how will evolve as a society. There are many social challenges and responsibility topics at debate here but the focus of the blog is what is and what could be and not what is socially good or bad for society.
IoT is basically the concept of machines (such as devices, appliances, phones etc..) interacting with each other leveraging the internet as a means of communication. The term that is being used in the industry to refer to such interactions is M2M (Machine to Machine).
An example in our everyday life where such an interaction plays a part is in an automobile alerts the driver another car is approaching while attempting to switch lanes. This could be extended to collecting these events to gain a perspective for an insurance company on the safety rating/insurability of the driver.
How does IoT fit into the overall picture?
I’ll start with a diagram of my perspective of the key building blocks within the Internet Ecosystem.
Points of Interaction is where the world interacts with the ecosystem. Web and Mobility are two very popular means on interacting but this could be extended into applications, call centers, IVR/VRU etc. These POIs occur via device and /or human interfaces.
Social interactions is the various categories of interactions taking place within the Internet Ecosystem.
- Life – Health, finances, diet, household events
- Commerce – Buys/Selling, business operation events
- Networking – Idea sharing, connection with others, self-expression events
Infrastructure is the bases and platform for how the Internet Ecosystem’s will exist, gather resources and be supported
Big Data and Analytics are key building blocks for how data will be aggregated and analyzed necessary to make real time and/or long term decisions.
Security is focused on protecting an identity within the ecosystem throughout these interactions/events ensuring the appropriate level of authentication, authorization and auditing.
Monitoring is used to measure the vital signs across these events ensuring no fraudulent behavior and thresholds are being met.
The Center depicts the ways these interactions can occur from Person to Person, machine to machine and machine to person.
So what role do sensors/RFID potentially play?
The way I have seen this evolve is sensors/rfid provide the skin, nerve endings and central nervous system to the Ecosystem. To put into everyday life as Sensors (which are already around us – cameras, phones, scanners etc..) and RFID grows we are essentially expanding upon our abilities to gain a better sense of the social interactions taking place around us. For example, a store could benefit by being able to have a better understanding of a consumers behavior across all points of interaction (mobility, web store front, call center, IVR) and be able to react to the consumer’s needs in a more effective way both real time and over the life of the relationship with the consumer