Information to intelligence

How the internet of things will power the Intelligence Age

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We’re currently shifting from the Information Age to the Intelligence Age. The Intelligence Age will be characterized by autonomous communication between intelligent devices that are sensitive to a person’s presence and respond by performing a specific task that enhances that person’s lifestyle.  The shift is driven by the consumer’s desire for efficiency, particularly in connection with everyday tasks that can be easily automated. And the costs associated with connected devices are no longer prohibitive, so companies of all sizes are able to bring products to market.

Consumer desire

Consumers are infatuated with technology that uses connectivity and machine learning to track and analyze everyday habits. They’re willing to let products track their locations, conversations, steps, eating, spending and other behavior because the product creates a seamless experience that couldn’t be achieved otherwise. Google Now, for example, incorporates data from a user’s calendar, web searches and location to present her with relevant information and suggestions throughout the day. [company]Google[/company] Now alerts the consumer to weather, traffic and restaurants nearby and delivers location-based reminders to her phone. It’s a personal assistant that uses data to make a consumer’s life more efficient.

 Cost of innovation

Five years ago, it was extremely expensive to manufacture the necessary parts for the connected devices that exist today. However, the rise of smartphones and tablets that use similar components created an increase in the production of components, which led to a rise in the number of manufacturers and an array of price points for varying specifications or quality of product. This made it feasible for companies to purchase radios, sensors, cameras and other materials at reasonable prices.

Once cost was no longer prohibitive, innovation began, and today even the smallest startups can afford (with the help of online crowdfunding in many cases) to build an idea. Planet Labs, for example, is leveraging access to these components to create the next generation of earth-imaging satellites at a fraction of the cost and time it takes to build traditional satellites. By using basic smartphone components, Planet Labs has launched 71 satellites into orbit in the last 16 months. These satellites produce affordable, real-time images that the government and agricultural industry can use to evaluate geological occurrences. 

Ambient intelligence

Ambient intelligent devices sense a user’s presence, movement and behavior, analyze that data in order to learn about that user, and then make an intelligent decision to perform a task based on the data. For example, Nest learns about a user’s schedule and uses that information to automate climate control. New companies like Zuli, Iotas and Spire are all entering the market over the next six months and will focus on using data to enable their products to make intelligent decisions based on user habits. Zuli is developing a recommendation engine based on a person’s presence in a specific room, for instance, that will allow for adjustment of the room’s temperature, lighting and music.

Market opportunity

As you move through your everyday life, be conscious of moments in which your repetitive actions have limited or no tangible effect on your environment. These moments are examples of when, at some point in the near future, the Intelligence Age will deliver enhanced experiences that turn the mundane into remarkable. These moments are opportunities to develop new products and services that will create the next economic boom in America and worldwide. The companies that capitalize on these opportunities will be the first publicly traded companies to be valued at a trillion dollars.

Mark Spates is head of Logitech’s smart home platform, founder of and president of the Internet of Things Consortium.

10 Responses to “How the internet of things will power the Intelligence Age”

  1. ewalsh5

    Technology to refine our processes will continue to thrive. I see plenty of comments talking about convenience being over-rated and impracticality of certain inventions. Guess what? 15 years ago with the ‘brickberry’ phones, no camera quality to speak of, and mobile data plans being awful, carrying a SLR to every great moment would’ve been the norm – today, ‘selfie stick’ is a convenience many happily indulge in. DO we absolutely need it and can’t do without? no. But created needs follow created value. Iot is set to go past 126 million connected devices (2019), per Forrester and IDG predictions. PWC has surveyed and found 70% of manufacturing industry, healthcare and retail workers find working with voice-activated apps and hands-free devices with real-time data access liberating, and raises their productivity. And business potential for these IoT things are immense ( keep reading: ). About time we shelve the doomsday predictions.

  2. exhibit44

    In the last 10 years or so, you have probably noticed young people taking up all kinds of hand-crafts. That includes cooking, preserving, knitting, tailoring, building bicycles, kayaks, and all kinds of artisanal agriculture. There is a limit to how much people will welcome convenience in their lives. I see a lot of food processors at the thrift shop, because people don’t have the space, you have to clean the thing, and it’s fun to cook by hand. Convenience is overrated.

    • Jason McKenzie

      You can cherry-pick examples, and yes, there’s a counter-trend to every trend. But just look at how many cars there are in the world, look at how many toasters, how many dishwashers. If convenience was overrated, those products would have never made it past prototype.

  3. John Barnes

    Just imagine, everything you do is monitored, tracked, and analyzed. Technology is in everything you own. Well, you really do not own it, they who administer it own it.
    This will do to our houses which Detroit did to our cars. No! You cannot put a nail in the wall there, That wall is an IOT wall, what were you thinking!
    Did any of you see the movie Brazil? Where, the main character’s apartment WAS an appliance. As I recall, that did not turn out all that well.
    It is not the “IOT or Internet of Things” It is really the “IOC or Internet of Chains”.
    IOC is not what you want, if you have an intellect over 8 years old or value your freedom.

  4. The internet of things is like google glass, or segways, or voice commanded controls in that it is almost autistic in its asusmptions in how human beings operate in relation with technology. Aesthic and social inpracticality seem rampant throughout all of these ideas. It’s like a weird combination of visionary aspirations and a complete lack of imagination about how these ideas might sit in the present.

    • ewalsh5

      Actually, IoT shows no signs of repeating, or stacking personalized data interactions. Instead, it shows significant insight in refining it and creating business potential (oops- there goes first symptoms of autism). You may have wanted to follow the 2014 CES with Samsung and BMW i3 for ‘connected cars’ IoT vision where they reach the autobahn speeds, while also mixing safety and reliability to entertainment, communication etc. Gartner predicts 150m connected cars (2020) and internet connectivity up to 22%, from 8%(2012). We have camera, lasers, GPS for safety and in ADAS (advanced driver assistance systems) – even before the voice activated apps, cam and HUD (heads up display) – quite practical, immensely secure and definitely ‘cognizant’ in terms of imaginations and human-tech interaction. Your personal beliefs may not be ‘facts’. –

  5. Steve Ardire

    > Ambient intelligent devices sense a user’s presence, movement and behavior, analyze that data in order to learn about that user, and then make an intelligent decision to perform a task based on the data

    Yes and in addition to companies you mention there’s may other emerging startups like @kimerasystems that push the envelope further on #AmbientIntelligence

    • Mark Spates

      Steve, thanks for the heads up on @kimerasystems. Seems like a great approach to creating experiences based around #AmbientIntelligence

      Are there any apps using the tech I can check out?