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Paul’s Tech Term of the Month: Internet of Things (IoT)

According to Wikipedia, the Internet of Things is the network of physical objects or “things” embedded with electronics, software, sensors and connectivity to enable it to achieve greater value and service by exchanging data with the manufacturer, operator and/or other connected devices.

These “things” may refer to a wide variety of devices such as heart monitoring implants ,  cars with built-in sensors or smart thermostat systems in washer/dryers that utilize  Wi-Fi  for remote monitoring.

According to Dr. Seuss “things” are mischievous characters from his “Cat in the Hat” book, first published in 1957

The concept of a network of smart devices was discussed some 25 years later in  1982, with a modified Coke machine at Carnegie Mellon University becoming the first internet-connected appliance which could  report its inventory and if newly loaded drinks were cold (super useful!).

The smart devices in my house , car and life are always acting weird  and playing tricks on me so maybe Dr. Seuss was ahead of his time with his creation of “Thing 1” and “Thing 2”.

Gartner predicts there will be over 25 billion devices on the Internet of Things by 2020. Let’s pray they all work properly and oh what fun we will have doing business intelligence against all that data!

About Paul

Paul Grill started his career in Information Technology in the U.K. in 1978, as an Executive Data Processing Trainee for Honeywell. More than thirty years later, he still has a voracious appetite for learning as Information Technology continues to advance at an ever accelerating pace. He was first introduced to the world of Business Intelligence in 1991, in France, when he saw a demonstration of an early version of BusinessObjects on Windows 2.1. He returned to the U.S. to rave about this phenomenal product, but it was many years before BusinessObjects made it into the mainstream. Paul founded InfoSol in 1997, and made Business Intelligence one of the key solutions offered by the company. Today, InfoSol is a leading SAP BusinessObjects solutions partner, known for its expert consulting, education and innovative add-on solutions. Paul is well known within the SAP BusinessObjects community for his extensive knowledge of Business Intelligence, and he has lectured and written many articles on the subject. Paul enjoys writing, running and coaching kids soccer, and is passionate about Ancient Egyptology.

2 comments

  1. The IoT is a really interesting space that I feel hasn’t truly matured yet. I think your analogy with Thing 1 and Thing 2 is pretty accurate since the devices are a huge security risk at this point in time. Right now since small mostly non-tech companies are the ones creating devices like the internet connected light bulb they have no expertise in the tech side outside of simply making it work. Eventually consumers are going to get smart to the idea and push for a centralized platform for all IoT’s devices. My money is on either Nest or Xiaomi (a Chinese company that has been doing some cool stuff in the IoT area). Once we move towards that centralized platform it would be pretty cool to see what they can do in the BI realm. Like how does your light usage compare to the national average?

  2. Hi Trevor
    Yes, the IoT space is very immature and just waiting for someone to add some order and intelligence to it. I think the companies that will do that will be new because I do not see much in the way of innovative ideas coming from the big a Tech or non- Tech organizations.