When It's Time to IoT Reality Check, Trend Toward Building Business Value


As trendy as it was ten years ago to write about the “billions and billions” of connected things, the Exabytes of data, the trillions of dollars in revenue, and the life-changing, planet-changing nature of the Internet of things, today, we find some pundits, including those who espoused growth, now trending against hype with a "Curb Your Enthusiasm" tone. 

But it’s not all good to be true.

There is evidence that there is real, ginormous value already being created, and that evidence goes as far back as the early days of machine-to-machine (M2M) and telematics (before that became smart cars and asset management), before the turn of the century.

Those of us who wake up in the morning ready to consume all of the news and announcements, the hype and the hard facts, become obsessed with tracking down real use cases. Deployed use cases. Proof beyond Proof of Concepts (POCs).

In his book, “IoT Time: Evolving Trends in the Internet of Things,” the author, Ken Briodagh, catalogues a fascinating array of actual connected things! Broken down into his own taxonomy (Consumer IoT, IIoT, Smart City, IoT Sustainability and Security), Briodagh charges ahead with colorfully written stories, easily consumed, and devoid of “sound bites.”

Briodagh is obsessed with understanding and covering IoT (he is the editor of this publication, IoT Evolution World) and scores a compilation of companies he's covered, technologies he's documented the evolution of, trends on the rise that will likely become drivers, and IoT innovation found in the most unlikely of places, for example a blood bank team in Saudi Arabia who invented a means to run blood drives and blood banks more efficiently via the IoT. 

While there is not a single uninteresting story in the book, my favorite chapter covers IoT innovation in healthcare, beyond wellness and wearables. Briodagh writes about "industrial strength" healthcare applications including: 

  • The Olea Sensor Networks RespiroTrack for monitoring respiration data remotely, which can change the course for patients with congestive heart falure, COPD, asthma and other conditions. 
  • The AUM Cardiovascular CADense device for a fast, noninvasive, no needle, zero-radiation test that uses acousting detection and analysis to look for Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) based on heart sound data from four locations on a patient's chest. 
  • Work IBM Watson is doing with the Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimma, employing cognitive computing in the early identification of serious bacterial infections in prematurely born babies, and to improve imaging of cerebral hemorrhage patients. 
  • Bongmi's smart thermometer, helping women struggling with fertility to monitor their temperature automatically and with high accuracy, in order to alert her when she may be at her peak ovulation point.  

There are many dozens of other fascinating real world stories in the book, stories on how municipalities are putting in place smart towns (not just smart cities), investing in broadband build out that supports everything from managing parking meters to placing video cameras in areas where public safety is of concern, so law enforcement has a better chance of stopping crime, and catching criminals. 

Briodagh writes about WaterBit’s sensors and LoRa technologies designed to move food security initiatives forward by monitoring large field sites for data that indicates unsafe conditions, including food-borne illnesses, infestations and more, without requiring cellular (using LoRaWAN approaches). 

He writes about keeping children safe in a world where their toys and devices are connected to the Internet, and an IntelliFilter technology that continuously bocks unwanted content with settings parents can control. 

All this said, the book is about more than these specific stories. Briodagh has captured insights and predictions from other IoT leaders and followers, including the book’s Forward, contributed by Rick Whitt, Corporate Director for Strategic Initiative at Google. 

Whitt first takes a step back - sharing that the term “IoT” was first coined in 1999 by Kevin Ashton, at the same time as Neil Gershenfeld wrote “When Things Start to Think.”

This sets a starting point that will get us to the initiative of a third decade in IoT starting in 2019, less than two years away. Time flies when you're connecting everything. 

Whitt goes on to cover extremely important topics, including public policy and the IoT. In the forward in Briodagh’s book, Whitt writes, "My own bias is toward what I call adaptive policymaking, meaning a careful mixing and matching of policy implemented to the functional aspects of the technology in question. Under this approach, the particular type of regulations - the rules (Institutions) and Players (organizations) - should be heavily influenced by the Code (technology). Or, put more succinctly, form and forum should follow function.” 

“Evolving Trends in the Internet of Things” is a timely read, as we don't expect disruption and innovation to slow down anytime soon. While forecasters may have been pulling back lately, it is inevitable that the way we are born, raised, educated and the way we live, procreate, farm, eat, work and play will forever be influenced by the Internet of Everything, and the limitless creativity and capital it is now attracting. 

Looking forward to Volume 2, and celebrating the end of the second decade in IoT in 2019. To get a free ebook copy of “IoT Time: Evolving Trends in the Internet of Things,” click here. For paperback, buy the book on Amazon

Edited by Ken Briodagh
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Contributing Writer

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