The Role Of Mobility in the Smart IoT Revolution

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Anything that can be connected will be connected!

I am excited about how IoT is changing my mornings:  “Siri”, my iPhone companion, wakes me up and informs me of the weather,  my first calendar appointment, my resting heart rate and the hours of sleep i got!  I log on to my home automation app to turn on the coffee machine, use cameras to check on the kids and dogs, turn off the heater and the alarm system.  After a refreshing cup of coffee, i am off for a run with a heart rate monitor, a music system and a calorie counter strapped to my wrist.  I am already off to a good start.  This is the power of IoT and this is just a drop in ocean. 

While the impact of IoT is clear in our daily individual lives, the impact to the larger society is not hard to imagine.  By 2020, more than 50B devices will be connected.  Libelium, a company that designs and manufactures wireless sensors for Smart Cities and the Internet of Things (IoT) projects is involved in many smart city projects like sensors in vehicles to monitor pollution in Glasgow and controlling shipping traffic in Netherlands. 

Its ironic then that the“Internet of Things” is really centered around the “human”.  Regardless of Machine to Machine or Machine to Person interaction and innovation, the connected device is giving pertinent information to the human without getting in the way.  Given that the smart phone is a key aspect of how the human interacts with most devices, its no secret that mobility is central to IoT.  There are two predominant reasons I believe that mobility will continue to be the most dominant aspect of IoT.

First, the human relies on the smart phone spending an average of 6 hours per day on his device. Most users check their smart phones within 15 minutes of waking up.  The smart phones guides our day with calendar and weather, keeps us connected on social media and keeps us productive with apps like dropbox and salesforce.com.  It is clear that the mobile device is the only way to deliver the true value of IoT to the human. 

Second, mobility allows for personalization and continuous learning about the human more than any other device.   This next wave of smart IoT devices we use will make our experiences more personalized, context-aware and valuable. For example with location awareness on a smartphone, we are able to gain insights about users and their behaviours to engage them on a personal level. With connectivity like this, we are able to create new sources of value that companies can leverage to create value and differentiation.

Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, recently published a first look at “Jarvis” – a AI assistant that he built for his family letting him and his wife Priscilla Chan use a custom iPhone app or a Facebook Messenger bot to turn lights on and off, play music based on personal tastes, open the front gate for friends, make toast, and even wake up their one-year-old daughter Max with Mandarin lessons.

Mobility will be a central force in the IoT revolution and the exciting part is that we are just now getting started!