Monday, 2 July 2012

Internet of Things - Glass Half-Full

Temporal linkages between Internet of Things developments sparked some thoughts.

The European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) said (pdf) that, while smart meters were potentially useful for controlling energy use, they will also "enable massive collection of personal data which can track what members of a household do within the privacy of their own homes". Good to see, but  is it too little too late to prevent a) abuse or b) a backlash? Will the utilities become as popular as bankers? There isn't much of a gap now, I suspect.

A Pew report (pdf) on the future of smart homes includes this gem of realism:
"Most of the comments shared by survey participants were assertions that the Home of the Future will continue to be mostly a marketing mirage. The written responses were mostly negative and did not mirror the evenly split verdict when respondents made their scenario selection. Because the written elaborations are the meat of this research report and the vast majority of them poked holes in the ideal of smart systems being well-implemented by individuals in most connected homes by 2020, this report reflects the naysayers’ sense that there are difficult obstacles that are not likely to be overcome over the next few years."

You may have missed this website devoted to internet fridges. (Shame virtual fridge never took off - Alan Dix would have been much better than Mark Zuckerberg as the social media czar).

Samsung has launched a smartphone health app. Huge market for this sort of thing is developing. Next steps presumably include connecting to things (perhaps using the work at Glasgow University) and possibly some data-mining of healthcare providers ( or somesuch). Such a path would provide  market based 'empowered patient' model, with a user centred approach a business survival requirement. A user-led mashup tool such as is likely to figure large.

The People Centred Design Group has distilled its work into a set of recommendations for the Internet of Things SIG. Still quite thing-centred e.g. "As the thing passes through its lifecycle, define the end users’ experience... ", and still no mention of HCD standards.

The IoT showcase presentations illustrate the glass half-full situation. I guess that is where we are just now.

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