Today we have many products capable of connecting to the existing Internet, but not capable of talking with each other. Usually they can connect to only two types of other devices, company server and a controller. All of those devices are being re-branded as “IoT” products, yet offering very limited integration options.
What is the Internet?
Internet is a network of multiple interconnected nodes exchanging data.
Answering this basic question, shows immediately the difference betwen Internet and the existing "Internet of things".
Moving from the big picture of today’s world of “Internet of Things” and looking at the “IoT” level of integration:
- Smartwatches are your second smartphone or remote handset for your primary smartphone.
- Usage information from “smart lighting” can not be shared with home metering systems.
- Amazon Echo is voice controlled remote for powering on & off off your “IoT” devices.
- Wireless headphones exchange more data with your smartphone than most “IoT” devices do, e.g. active equalizer, active noise suppression. Also the level of interaction headphones offer is bigger than what "IoT" devices usually offer today, e.g. the Smartphone interrupts the playing audio to allow the user to interact with an event on the spot(app notification, text, phone call) directly from the wireless headphones. For these example operations more data is involved than what most “IoT” have or share for integration.
Today’s connected product lives in own Cloud as some sort of modern “Local Area Network”(LAN), adding no new functionalities, yet achieving the “IoT” branding.
There is no IoT emerging in 2018.
Story of Genuine IoT
What would be the impact of genuine IoT in our everyday lives?
I imagine staying comfortably at my home, listening to a podcast and getting in the mood for writing that article I have been postponing for some time now. I am opening Libreoffice on my laptop, at which point my laptop “finds” the genuine smart lamp in the living room and sends a request for adjusting the light for reading text. After all, writing text does require reading it back a few times :) So, even though the smart lamp “sees” it is only me in the living room right now, it decides to go out of eco-light mode and help my work, as well and my eyes. This is a first win for a genuine world of IoT. So I start writing and...
… I have been writing for some time now, it is already few minutes pass 6pm, I got carried away. But my Amazon Echo is informing the genuine smart fridge in my kitchen to start defrosting the dough. Why? Because I have let Amazon know I plan to make Banica, a surprise meal for dinner during the work week. My genuinely smart fridge is also checking if I have everything I need and doing visual inspection of the products I currently have inside. My smart watch just got notification from the fridge about the fact I have only Mozzarella in good condition. Unfortunately, Mozzarella is not the right type of cheese for Banica, but my smart watch was in “Do not disturb mode, unless it is family”, so I am in the dark about it.
Twenty more minutes writing and I am starting to get a bit hungry. Taking a look at my watch and I discover it is almost time to start baking, but I do not have the right cheese. Well, technology can help a lot, but human element will always be what makes life random. I have to go to the store, figure something else to make or order food online. Perhaps going out and watching a movie afterwards is equally good surprise as having a homemade Banica. Sending few texts and organizing it.
While I was working my Laptop let Amazon know. In turn Google was informed not to eat my time and attention with ads during online searches. Did Google know so little, I was using DuckDuckGo, anyway the option for no-ads matters. But now I want to find a movie, so I am intentionally opening google.com and I already have two good ideas from trailer ads in the search results. Nice!
By the way, did I mention there was Internet outage during my article writing? Well, because I had genuine IoT devices they were able to keep functioning with all top features, even with Internet outage.
Also, I do not need to have separate gateway devices for each manufacturer or product. Enough technology for today, heading out to get a bite and be at the cinema on time. “The End”
Demand and supply drive the Market until someone puts new product or new business model on the Market
What our industry fails most is to read the “Lessons learned”.
- C-level and Middle management often do not understand the people creating the products, the Engineers.
- Engineers often do not understand the goals Middle management follows and C-level sets for the year.
This leads to hitting the same problems with every new product.
First major problem
Devices of one company connect only to the company server and offer limited to no integration.
Second major problem
Even products made from the same company interact mostly for “on/off” and a single data point.
Third major problem
Development of new products is rushed, leading to both reliability and security being sacrificed.
What is the solution?
In the next blog post I will try to briefly explain what product development approaches we are using at DesignFirst OÜ for tackling those three major problems. Feel free to share your thoughts and critical thinking by dropping me an email ;-) Thank you for the time spent on our website!
Dimi, Owner of DesignFirst OÜ, firstname.lastname@example.org