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All Science & No Data Make for a Dull Toy
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Re: making use of the IoT
  • 10/16/2014 7:59:22 AM
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Agreed. Usability and ability to deliver something that is considered valuable are both important. And your point about the complexity is important too. People will run away from things that may even have value if there are painful side effects. I think discipline in planning and architecture is needed to drive simplicity and alignment to value.

Re: making use of the IoT
  • 10/16/2014 7:45:27 AM
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@Balaji Prasad, something to keep in mind though is that we've seen the IoT and datafication run into big problems already when they get too granular.  One example are all the health tracking apps/wearables that had a boom about a year ago and are already bursting because people lost interest quickly.  I'm sure many of them thought it would be something that they would make a part of their everyday life but it turned out to just be more noise than they were willing to deal with.  IoT is an area that I think we need to keep the KISS principle in the forefront.  Hype will only take a technology so far and no amount of hype will save a technology that people find annoying.

Re: making use of the IoT
  • 10/15/2014 8:37:09 AM
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@saneIT "Datafication of your life might be interesting for a month or two but eventually it just becomes more noise in a noisy world"

I think noise and clutter are unavoidable. Facebook is a great example of something that is often used to satisfy emotional wants such as vanity. Ringtones are another example. I agree with you that value lies in the simple things that make our lives easier and more productive. But lots of money will flow towards applicatons that have a more subjective kind of value. and ... don't we make mistakes, which sometimes take years to see as such? Fixing mistakes is also difficult when we build things on top of things that we already have invested in.

Re: making use of the IoT
  • 10/15/2014 7:47:51 AM
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I'm half joking here but, I hear FB is going to put 747 sized drones that can stay in the sky for years at a time to provide wireless internet access to remote parts of the world.  If they can do that why can't the railroads do something similar or even build towers big enough to get cellular communications out to those remote areas?  I don't doubt that some of these ideas have been brought up, I just wonder what keeps them from building out a better communications network. 

Re: making use of the IoT
  • 10/15/2014 7:42:57 AM
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We as a society have become very good at spinning up the hype engine and letting it go.  Attention spans are shorter and memories seem to be getting shorter as well.  Many of us will remember the dot com bubble because we lived it.  I know I rode it right to the top and luckily didn't have a big fall but how many people on the street could tell you what happened and why?  IoT is a very cool concept and I can see a lot of hype around it because start ups need funding, but as I mentioned I think the real differences will be made at a utility type level.  Datafication of your life might be interesting for a month or two but eventually it just becomes more noise in a noisy world.  The trick will be quietly shaping the world around us without getting in the way.

Re: making use of the IoT
  • 10/14/2014 8:45:42 AM
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Good point about "what people want" vs what they need. The IT groups certainly learned that with the BYOD movement.

Re: making use of the IoT
  • 10/14/2014 8:31:44 AM
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@SaneIT, Good point. The hype does create inflated expectations and can actually slow down application ideas and adoption, as people start to become more skeptical about everything in the hyped-up space. We've seen this many times before, including with the dot-com.

Re: making use of the IoT
  • 10/14/2014 8:28:28 AM
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@Jamescon, Exactly. I think many of us are like this. And that's why the theory of what "value" is, and the reality of what it is (in the form of what people actually do) are sometimes quite different. We probably would not be drinking, eating and doing half the things we do, if we're really objective about value. So when we think about new technologies from a business perspective, we can't ignore what people may want, and that sometimes we may not know it until we see it.

Re: making use of the IoT
  • 10/14/2014 7:56:27 AM
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@Balaji. I'll plead guilty when it comes to tracking a package through FedEx or UPS. Do I really need to know that it's last known location was someplace in Texas? Nope. I do want to know that it's on schedule for the promised delivery time, but there is nothing I can do about it until it actually runs late.

So, why do I check? Because I can.

Why do I keep checking email by phone when I'm away from my computer for a half hour, even when I'm not expecting anything urgent? Again, because I can.

 

Re: making use of the IoT
  • 10/14/2014 7:51:04 AM
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@SaneIT. Right, the railroad knew that the sensors had to be ruggedized because of the elements. Even allowing for that, the sensors themselves weren't the issue, it was the communications aspect. That's where they faced the real challenge. I'm not sure how they plan to deal with that.

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