If you happened to be in attendance at CES (Consumers Electronic Show) 2014 in Las Vegas, you might have picked up some information about the Internet of Things. It seems, to our ears, the Internet of Things has gone from a small and interesting topic of conversation at Cloud trade shows, to an industry with the potential the change the way the world functions. Point in case, as overheard at CES2014:
We have to say, that is a pretty bold prediction. “The Internet of Everything will be five to ten times more impactful in the next decade than the entire Internet has been to date.” We suppose coming from John Chambers, the CEO of Cisco, we have to put some weight behind the prediction. Yet, we still have to wonder, will the Internet of Things – the Internet of Everything – turn out to be all it can be? Or will the Internet of Things turn out to be another industry which changes the way the world works however never reaches its full potential?
Much like the current fate of the Cloud – highly utilized but hardly understood – will the Internet of Things quietly take over the global marketplace or, with the combination of Big Data, will it prove to be more of a headache than it’s worth?
The Cloud. The Internet of Things. Two Questions.
Does the Cloud seem so last year to you? With the pace at which IT moves, does Cloud Computing seem like it passed everyone by only to give way to yet another technology acronym trend? If you’re like us, when you travel the Cloud and Tech industry conference route, you have front row seats to all the new technologies which providers are talking about/working on. One of those tech industries is the Internet of Things or IoT.
The Internet of Things represents the coming online of even the smallest machine and device. The Internet of Things means bringing the parking meter online to communicate with your smartphone. The Internet of Things means turning your smoke detector into a connected device capable of communicating with your email server. The Internet of Things means powering up every device currently off the grid so it can communicate and interface with other connected devices.
Now, two questions: Is the Internet of Things a good, err, thing? Does the Internet of Things have a dark underside?
Connecting the Dots
There is an obvious upside to the Internet of Things. With more devices coming online and talking to one another, humanity can collect and analyze more data than ever before. This stream of incoming data will allow us to move within our world in a more efficient manner. A great real world example of the Internet of Things would be a parking meter communicating with your smartphone to alert you that alternate side parking laws are in effect. This alert would save you from a ticket and possibly being towed.
With Big Data taking over the IT industry in 2013, the Internet of Things is coming at the right time. With the right data collection and analysis tools, Big Data has the power to turn the Internet of Things into a reality. Five years ago, connectivity might have been in place for the Internet of Things to exist and function somewhat well, however without the tools to support massive data analysis, the Internet of Things could have never existed.
Big Data enables the Internet of Things. The Internet of Things will provide Big Data solutions the raw data needed to make our lives more efficient and information oriented. This said, is there such a thing as too much data? Will the IoT matched with Big Data create a scenario in which we can’t keep up? Will IoT and Big Data cause data overload?
Too Much of a Good Thing?
“Much of the recent data frenzy — from the physical and life sciences to the user-generated content aggregated by Google, Facebook and Twitter — has come in the form of largely unstructured streams of digital potpourri that require new, flexible databases, massive computing power and sophisticated algorithms to wring out bits of meaning from them, said Matt LeMay, a former product manager at the URL shortening and bookmarking service Bitly.”
“But “big data is not magic,” he cautioned while teaching a database workshop this summer in Lower Manhattan. It doesn’t matter how much data you have if you can’t make sense of it.”
“Big Data is not magic. It doesn’t matter how much data you have if you can’t make sense of it.” That’s the rub. Global marketplaces are now being driven by more data than we have ever had access to. Some of this data, like customer spending habits, proves easy enough to track, make sense of and use to company advantage. On the other hand, parking habits from every parking meter across the world represents a data set which we simply don’t possess the tools to make sense of.
Having massive sets of data is an excellent start to understanding the world around us. As they say, numbers don’t lie. But without the proper questions, all that data is useless. Data itself isn’t an endpoint. Answers spurring actions are the endpoint.
So, is the Internet of Things beneficial to us? Is Big Data contributing to the Internet being broken? Weigh in down below to let us know your thoughts.