I’m not sure I want my wardrobe to be smarter than I am. And I’m not sure if I want my clothes sending messages – to me, or anyone else. Actually, I’m sure. I don’t want my socks to beat me in trivia games and then brag about it on Facebook.
This whole wearable technology phenomenon has a lot of interesting and positive aspects to it. But in other areas it dives right into the world of, to put it nicely:
Just because we can, doesn’t mean we should.
We’re in the ooooh, shiny! phase of the Internet of Things where potential is everywhere, everything seems like a good idea, and many people are moving too fast to ask the important question: Should we?
In this flurry of activity companies large and small, mainstream and fringe, are realizing “hey, we can stick sensors in this thing!”
Reality check: Sensor technology is small enough now that you can put them in anything. The trick is doing it in a way that makes sense and provides a benefit that’s actually beneficial. And for some idea-generators out there, that the combination of the sensor and the function makes sense.
I’m not against the idea of wearable technology. In fact, I’m considering hopping on the fitness-wristband bandwagon. Nike or Fitbit might not talk me out of that afternoon taste of dark chocolate, but the information they provide may convince me to walk the dog as penance. Read More »
What’s the problem with Big Data? You guessed right — it’s BIG.
Big Data empowers organizations to discern patterns that were once invisible, leading to breakthrough ideas and transformed business performance. But there is simply so much of it, and from such myriad sources — customers, competitors, mobile, social, web, transactional, operational, internal, external, structured, and unstructured — that, for many organizations, Big Data is overwhelming. The torrents of data will only increase as the Internet of Everything spreads its ever-expanding wave of connectivity, from 10 billion connected things today to 50 billion in 2020.
So, how can organizations learn to use all of that data?
The key lies not in simply having access to enormous data streams. Information must be filtered for crucial, actionable insights, and presented to the right people in a visualized, comprehensible form. Only then will Big Data transform business strategies and decisions. In effect, Big Data must be made small.
However, as McKinsey & Co. reported, many organizations don’t have enough data scientists, much less ones who understand the business well enough to draw conclusions. The trick is to get the scientists together with the experts who understand the business levers driving the organization. Put them in a room with the right tools, and watch the synergy fly.
It seems customary around the December time frame to look back over the year and chart the highlights and successes. The challenge with doing that for a programme like Cisco British Innovation Gateway (BIG) is there are so many areas that one could review.
That said, the key highlight for me has to be the opening of the fantastic Innovation and Digital Enterprise Alliance London or IDEALondon a facility that Cisco recently opened in partnership with University College London, and DC Thomson, in the heart of Shoreditch. The team behind IDEALondon have done a fantastic job in creating a location that provides a welcoming and collaborative space for start-ups and entrepreneurs to develop and grow. I strongly believe, based on the evidence of what I have seen already, that we are going to see a number of the individuals and companies come out of the facility go onto make a big, positive impression within the UK economy.
Despite only having been open for a couple of months now, a number of great events have already taken place there, including the second year of the Cisco BIG Awards. Having been involved in the initial judging stages of both years, it has been interesting to see the difference in the ideas coming through. This year, for example, there have been a lot more ideas focused on the Internet of Everything, an industry that offers huge potential. Today, there is something in the region of 15 billion devices (give or take a billion or two) or things connected to the network. By 2020, it is expect that we will have something in the region of 50 billion devices connected.
While some of that will be the continuing growth of the tablet and smartphone market for example, it will also be the acceleration of devices that where previously unconnected to the network. Examples of those at the more extreme end of the Internet of Everything that have hit the news recently have been the connected wig and the connected fork. While both of these ideas actually have a lot of merit once you look beyond the initial, potentially comical, concept, the reality is that there are some macro economic challenges that society and governments around the world are having to contend with over the coming years that the Internet of Everything can help address. One example of such a macro economy challenge is the increasing aging population in the UK and the pressure that will put on to the existing healthcare infrastructure. A good example of that would be the winner of the 2013 Cisco BIG awards, uMotif, a cloud based, self managed health application that can be accessed via a smartphone or web browser.
UMotif plans to white label the platform to healthcare providers, GP surgeries, hospitals, nutritionists and care homes. This, combined with NHS England and the government’s call for open data, will provide a key enabler in one of the real benefits, not so much from the connection itself, but from the data it produces, or the ‘big data’. The massive amount of unstructured data that will be available, providing us with insight and knowledge we never thought possible before.
For me, one of the reasons I find the vision of the ‘Internet of Everything’ so exciting is the fact that this is an opportunity for organizations big and small, to help develop an evolving landscape, one that will truly transform the world around us, and one that offers BIG potential.
When a person is considered tech-savvy and “always-connected” in their day-to-day life, these expectations don’t change when they stay in a hotel. In fact, this new “connected hotel guest” actually expects the same mobile experience at hotels that they receive at home or work. Hoteliers across the world are constantly trying to find ways to meet the increasing needs of the mobile-connected guest. Previously, hotel Wi-Fi was used primarily for guests and staff connectivity, but now, it’s becoming much more than that because of these guests’ needs. Read More »
On a typical day, we leave a vast trail of data in our wake. Our browsing histories, online preferences, shopping habits, work decisions, social interactions—all are rendered in binary code, prompting a complex interaction of requests, responses, affirmations, and denials.
And that’s just from our laptops and smartphones.
What about when the Internet of Everything — with its explosion in connectivity from 10 billion “things” today to 50 billion in 2020 — truly shifts into overdrive? At that point, our clothing, our houses, our cars, our lawns, and our refrigerators may be generating ever-larger torrents of data — all about us.
This upsurge in personal Big Data has big implications. Indeed, each person’s emerging digital persona will go a long way toward defining their place in the world. Furthermore, all of that data already has great intrinsic value to Internet giants, retailers, financial services companies, and many others. If we manage it right — in what I see as a burgeoning Marketplace of Me — some of that value may come right back to us.