Big Bang disruption and the IoT

Writing for Forbes, Paul Nunes and Larry Downes note that every one of over a trillion everyday items will one day include at least some ability to store, process and share information over the Internet.

“We’ve been hearing about intelligent refrigerators and product packaging for years, but now, thanks to relentless price/performance improvements in the enabling technologies, the IoT has finally arrived. Of course we’ve long had connected computing devices and, more recently, connected television sets and connected cars,” the two explained. “[However], in the last few years, an explosion of wearable sensing and monitoring devices, promises to revolutionize healthcare, fitness, child monitoring and services for the elderly. We’re on our way to the connected self. ”

Adafruit’s ATmega32U4-powered Flora

According to Nunes and Downes, the Internet of Things (IoT) has the potential to disrupt and reconstruct the supply chain of every industry – significantly improving the efficiency of manufacturing, distribution, retailing and customer service.

“Marketing, for example, can become truly scientific, not based on sample data but on complete data. Manufactured goods will diagnose their own problems and contact the manufacturer for solutions. When products break, we can determine immediately why and how We’ll be able to predict failure in advance, turning maintenance from a reactive to a proactive function.”

Perhaps most importantly, they say, the IoT will allow consumers to become collaborators.

“While many IoT applications are still several generations of technology improvement away, the next major disruptor is already massing at the borders: making homes and offices intelligent and networked. We’re entering the age of the connected building. Early market experiments have already begun, some of them with the potential of Big Bang Disruption,” said the duo.

“Appliances, sockets and switches are being upgraded with sensors and antenna, making it possible to collect vast information about the performance and energy usage of device that draws power. 
Once collected, that information can be sliced and diced to improve energy efficiency, building maintenance, security and future product design.”

Indeed, say Nunes and Downes, the connected building will disrupt real estate developers and property managers, as well as manufacturers of appliances and lighting fixtures.

“[However], the impact of having near-perfect information on the performance of so many ‘dumb’ (and often expensive) pieces of infrastructure could reach far beyond the obvious–and deeply into the energy sector… It’s no exaggeration to say that connected buildings could change where and how we live and work, or even how we distinguish between the two, especially for an aging population,” the two added.

Paul Nunes and Larry Downes are the authors of “Big Bang Disruption,” which can be purchased here on Amazon.

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