Imagine a world where, to paraphrase the astronomer Carl Sagan, billions and billions of connected devices are added to the Internet which sense, monitor and record all manner of digital content such as temperatures or security camera video streams.
But wait. Aren’t all these functions already available? Burglar alarm companies, for example, can already send an alarm to my phone. They can even send me a video of the low-life burglar rummaging through my stuff. So what would be different?
In today’s world, let’s say a grocery store chain needs to install a freezer temperature monitoring network in all freezers in all stores. Not a sexy use case but a necessary one that can save big dollars if a wonky freezer is detected early. The grocery chain would build and pay for a private network to carry the traffic generated by each temperature sensor to a custom application to monitor each freezer’s temperature. A visual display shows the status of each temperature and flashes an alarm should a failure occur.
Rolling your own temperature network won’t be cheap either.
In the new world of the Internet of Things (IoT for short), the “thing” such as a digital freezer monitoring thermometer comes with its own Internet address. A company can now plug in an off the shelf freezer monitoring systems directly into the Internet and avoid having the hassle of building their own custom monitoring system.
Follow the money and you will quickly realize that one aspect of the Internet of Things is about eliminating the cost and effort of building private networks to manage and control a process by using cheap, Internet connected sensors and controller software.
Sounds like Voice over IP where all corporate phones were migrated from dedicated Nortel phones to Internet connected Cisco or Avaya phones.
IoT also offers the potential to develop systems to support new ways of experiencing the environment about us such as sporting events.
Consider a crowd of people attending a Toronto Maple Leaf’s hockey game. Not any hockey game mind you – It’s the Stanley Cup final in 2020. One has to go back to 1967 since the Leafs last snatched the cherished cup from their arch rival in red – the Montreal Canadians. (I must confess that I was a Habs fan back then)
I won’t go into the depravities of what fans had to subject themselves to score tickets to the game!
But imagine the difference IoT could make. Imagine hundreds of small Internet of Things wireless video cameras installed throughout Air Canada Centre. Let’s go further and imagine that all the players have ShowTime IoT cameras affixed to their helmets.
With a Mobile phone logged into the ShowTime app, spectators’ phones could pick and chose the on-ice and crowd video streams from one of the many vantage points. Want to be behind the net? At ice level? Above the fray looking down with a bird’s eye view? Witnessing a 100 mile an hour puck sailing towards the goalie and the big save of the game?- It’s all yours with ShowTime and IoT. The winning goal is captured in Facebook at a click of a button for your friends to see.
The fans experienced witnessing perfection that day. The crowd cheered in a deafening roar that drove the Leafs onwards to glorious victory.
No trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange would be recorded for the next five days as Toronto turned into nonstop party central.
ShowTime and IoT helped to make it happen.
1967 Stanley Cup Finals