Articles, Autonomous Systems, Industry 4.0, Smart Services

The IoT Fairy

Orignially published on the Joe Barkai Blog:

Every time you describe a frivolous Internet of Things (IoT) technology use case, a fairy dies…

Here is one.

Samsung’s smart refrigerator boasts three embedded video cameras to keep an eye on what’s in the fridge, which you can view through a smartphone app or the 21” touchscreen built into the fridge’s door.
The fridge’s software is designed to help monitor spoilage and remind you when an item has been lying around long enough to spoil. If your last carton of milk is going bad, you can even order fresh milk directly from the touch screen using the Groceries by MasterCard app.
You can get that smart fridge at your nearest BestBuy for the modest price of $4,000 (a great deal, considering a MSRP of $6,000). Just make sure you have the most recent software installed. Last year researchers uncovered a security flaw in a Samsung smart fridge that could compromise a user’s Gmail credentials.
This “use case,” like endless number of equally fanciful scenarios, gets a barely passing grade of “cute.” The irony is that the very same technology and features offered by the smart fridge and other smart home appliances can be used to illustrate IoT uses cases that are useful, meaningful, and worth investing in. Here is one example.
An app running on your Smart Home Hub is about to alert you it’s time for you to take an antibiotic your physician prescribed yesterday. But your smart fridge noticed that you just had a glass of milk. Because milk interferes with the absorption of that class of antibiotics (tetracycline), the app recommends you wait 30 minutes before taking your medication.
Smart home applications and connected appliances offer a wealth of IoT solutions, from energy management to improving the safety and the quality of life of an aging population. Simply turning lights on and off using a smartphone app isn’t the best example of a meaningful application of IoT technology.
Don’t trivialize the IoT technology. Whether a smart home application, an industrial control system, or a smart city solution, look for ways to use the technology to solve meaningful problems, add value to operations, and improve the quality of life of residents and citizens.
Remember: every time you describe a frivolous IoT application, a fairy dies.

About the author:

Joe Barkai is a consultant, speaker, author and blogger, charting market strategies for a connected world: Internet of Things, connected cars, innovation and product lifecycle. Read more about Joe: