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Talking back to IoT devices that talk behind my back
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Some wrong premises
Bert22306   7/13/2014 5:52:40 PM
I agree with your reactions, Junko, but I also think the premises are off base. Some of the examples, like the car's headlights or the iron left on, are specious. You don't need OR WANT IoT for that. You want appliances to be smarter on their own.

What's the point of a smartphone telling you that you left the iron on, if you aren't there to shut it off? Doesn't it make a whole lot more sense for the iron to shut itself off instead? Ditto with the car's headlights. How difficult is it to have them shut themselves off before you drain the battery? It's a very simple control logic problem.

But as someone who has been at this hyped-up IoT for decades already, it does have its place. One fairly indisputable advantage for implementing this sort of thing is to reduce manning requirements in factories, ships, airplanes, powerplants, and such. Not homes primarily, but environments that are filled with systems which require constant monitoring, which in the past has had to be done by many (fallible) humans.

This type of automatic monitoring and control takes many, many sensors, remotely controlled pumps, valves, and electric machinery, and the logic (algorithms) to control the devices based on what the sensors tell you. For this to all play together, with the necessary redundancy for reliability and survivability, you need clever networks which tie it all together.

But it's hard to create a media blitz, unless you talk about things every man or woman in the street can relate to. So it very much looks like an answer to a question no one asked. I think everyone who attempts to hype up IoT for homes should make it a point to watch the 1958 Jacques Tati French movie "Mon Oncle." Here's a sample scene, showing the baffling kitchen with overly automated appliances:

The absurdity of it all is not a new discovery! Homes are (thankfully) not filled with systems that need labor-intensive monitoring or operation, so it doesn't make a great example of IoT.


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Solution looking for a problem
betajet   7/13/2014 3:08:52 PM

When I first heard about the Internet of Digital Things (IDioT), it was from ARM who saw that demand for smart phones, tablets, and other mobile devices would saturate pretty soon and needed a new market for ARM chips to maintain growth.  Similarly, Cisco is big into IDioT, because they also need to develop new markets for growth.  Same with other large corporations pushing IDioT.

I see IDioT as a technology that's trying desperately to convince consumers that they need it, like 3D TV, Smart TV, self-driving cars, and automobile infotainment.  It would be nice if this effort instead addressed real human needs like reducing the cost of health care, caring for the elderly, rebuilding public transit, and reversing climate change.


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It should be smart too
davezawislak   7/13/2014 11:29:16 AM
First if your iron is smart enough to message it is left on, it should just turn itself off. Likewise for the car lights. Because messaging systems go down.

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The case for IoT
deron19   7/13/2014 11:03:30 AM
I think we focus too much on home automation when we talk about IoT.  I'm sure that is because of Google's recent moves.  The real value from IoT will not be realized by individuals.  It will be realized by businesses, communities, government, etc.  It has the potential to deliver very useful information. It shouldn't be expected to be a source of convenience, i.e. the washer talking to the grill.

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