From Telemetry to Wearable Wednesdays: Q&A with Daniel Obodovski
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utility companies. Think of usage-based insurance that helps insurance companies better manage risk and pass on some savings on to good drivers.
But the biggest benefits and savings are still ahead of us. The biggest value is in data applications. Imagine driving down a freeway and your engine light goes on. What do you do? If your car has a connected device that can send diagnostics data in real-time to a nearby dealer or a service center, they can figure out what’s wrong with your car remotely and immediately message you with an offer to fix it. This is not a hypothetical case—companies are working to make this happen. On the wearable side of things, connecting your fitness tracking data to a personal trainer has significant benefits along with connecting healthcare data with healthcare providers.
X: You described Google’s $3.2 billion acquisition of Nest as the “Netscape moment of IoT.” What differences do you see in the emergence of IoT technology and the Internet revolution of the 1990s? How is IoT different from previous waves of IT innovation?
DO: I’m actually seeing a lot of similarities. For one thing, companies are now being asked, “What’s your IoT strategy?” in the same way they were asked 20 years ago, “What is your Web strategy?”
The Internet revolution has created this huge virtual space, marketplace that can be accessed from your phone or tablet or laptop. The Internet of Things is expanding this virtual space to the physical world around us, by connecting plants, trees, animals, machines, cars, buildings and even our own bodies to the Internet.
It’s almost like adding digital I/O nodes to the physical world with all benefits of the digital technology—high communication speed, easy multiplication of data, and easy integration with other digital systems.
X: Do you see differences in the “reality” of IoT technology today from the futuristic vision depicted in the 2002 film “Minority Report?”
DO: With all due respect to the movie “Minority Report”, which I like quite a bit, I hope that our future is going to be very different. I hope it’s going to be less about technology that screams at us and overwhelms us from every corner. I hope it’s going to be more about technology that is quietly and intuitively doing its thing in the background so we don’t even notice it so much and yet our lives become easier. So I hope it will be less like “Minority Report” and more like “Her.”
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