Welcome!

Related Topics: @ThingsExpo, Java IoT, Mobile IoT, Linux Containers, @CloudExpo, @BigDataExpo

@ThingsExpo: Article

Turing or Touring Machines – Intelligent Cars and the IoT

A social network of things is a user model humans can again relate with

The Mass Technology Leadership Council (MassTLC) recently hosted the The Value of Things (VoT): MassTLC IoT Conference in Waltham, Massachusetts. There was surprisingly little disagreement between the various panelists on the future of the Internet of Things (IoT), but probably not in the way you might expect. Sure everyone was in agreement about the billions of devices and trillions of dollars in market growth; however, something else was afoot. Nearly all the panelists were in agreement that the free-for-all model of the consumer Internet and mobile markets would not repeat itself. With IoT, the sheer number of devices and their pervasiveness has already put governments and regulators around the world on notice. Here's the consensus: design your system to support an opt-in model with high security and concerns for privacy otherwise, within the next 5 years, you will be shut-out.

How does one develop a user model for managing so many devices and complex networks? I think the trick is to leverage the already familiar analogs. Keynote speaker, Sanjay Sarma, Director of Digital Learning, MIT; Founder, MIT's Auto-ID Center spoke about connected cars. Cars have hundreds of devices in them today and no one thinks about each individual one. Instead people interact with the car on a higher level. Sanjay proposed a user model where communication occurs with avatars or in this case he called it a "Carvatar." Interaction is just like any other Avatar online, be it real or robotic. The intelligent car is then able to answer questions like "How much fuel do you have?" or "What is the cabin temperature?" However, the Avatar needs to have more capabilities than just simple factual statements, builders of these Avatars need to give them agency to ensure they have the ability to organize their subordinate devices into a set of questions and commands that supports a useful conversation and interaction:

Owner: Car, what is the cabin temperature?
Car: 78 degrees
Owner: Car, Set temperature target to 68 degrees.
Car: Ok

Collapsing all the interaction from dozens of individual knobs and buttons to a single smart interface with an agent is great, but it isn't enough. Sanjay also referenced the pet peeve many of us have with the current smart devices in the world today: they are designed for local pairing over say Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, which is limiting. I don't pair my phone to my wife's car because it will wipe out the pairing already configured for her phone nor can I switch control of the music to my daughter's phone while I retain control over navigation. In order for these Agents to be truly useful and innovative they must be able to have multiple and varied relationships with other devices.

This leads to my own vision: a social network of things that I believe is a user model humans can again relate with. Think about your device Avatar in terms of a social network. The device should be configurable to accept relationships with some parameters, and to build its own circles or lists (but with privacy and security settings that actually work!). For example, a device should have a circle called "owners" but also a circle called "siblings" where any device whose "owner" is the same as my own I can consider a "sibling." Imagine a circle such as "devices near me." Such a circle is less intimate so you probably want to share a lot less with that group of device "acquaintances." You can imagine using a simple set of rules to build out a handful of these circles. The devices can then go beyond simple self-organizing meshes for networking and develop more complex relationships of varying duration. Back to our car example, perhaps a car will broadcast "I'm braking" to members of the "nearby circle", but only "owners" can interrogate the temperature and command temperature changes.

Finally, what do these user models mean for the business model? For a start, if data is all opt-in and regulations prevent the reselling of data, you should plan to demonstrate the value of your application and charge for that value directly to the beneficiaries. Are you able to reduce repairs and maintenance? Offer a lower support contract for the up-front purchase of the application or instrumented devices. Does your application make cars safer? Turn insurance companies into channels and split the savings with them. Offer peace of mind to parents and pet owners with a park geo-fence that charges a per use fee as kids or pets enter the space. The business models will be as endless as the applications waiting to be brought to market and MetraTech is looking forward to supporting you all in this endeavor.

More Stories By Jason Mondanaro

Jason Mondanaro is a global thought leader for cloud billing and micropayment technologies. He drives product leadership and third-party cloud vendor integrations for Metanga, MetraTech’s cloud-based billing solution. Over the past 16 years Jason has co-authored patents on micropayments and high volume transactional aggregation. He jointly designed and acted as lead developer for the eO transit payment system. The eO System was awarded the 2009 Best Transportation Application Sesame award by CARTES & IDenditifaction and was instrumental to the American Public Transportation Association's 2009 Innovation Award to the Utah Transit Authority, Salt Lake City, UT.

You can view his other blogs at www.metratech.com/blog.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Latest Stories
Up until last year, enterprises that were looking into cloud services usually undertook a long-term pilot with one of the large cloud providers, running test and dev workloads in the cloud. With cloud’s transition to mainstream adoption in 2015, and with enterprises migrating more and more workloads into the cloud and in between public and private environments, the single-provider approach must be revisited. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Yoav Mor, multi-cloud solution evangelist at Cloudy...
SYS-CON Events announced today that 910Telecom will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Housed in the classic Denver Gas & Electric Building, 910 15th St., 910Telecom is a carrier-neutral telecom hotel located in the heart of Denver. Adjacent to CenturyLink, AT&T, and Denver Main, 910Telecom offers connectivity to all major carriers, Internet service providers, Internet backbones and ...
StackIQ has announced the release of Stacki 3.2. Stacki is an easy-to-use Linux server provisioning tool. Stacki 3.2 delivers new capabilities that simplify the automation and integration of site-specific requirements. StackIQ is the commercial entity behind this open source bare metal provisioning tool. Since the release of Stacki in June of 2015, the Stacki core team has been focused on making the Community Edition meet the needs of members of the community, adding features and value, while ...
Big Data, cloud, analytics, contextual information, wearable tech, sensors, mobility, and WebRTC: together, these advances have created a perfect storm of technologies that are disrupting and transforming classic communications models and ecosystems. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Erik Perotti, Senior Manager of New Ventures on Plantronics’ Innovation team, provided an overview of this technological shift, including associated business and consumer communications impacts, and opportunities it ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Venafi, the Immune System for the Internet™ and the leading provider of Next Generation Trust Protection, will exhibit at @DevOpsSummit at 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Venafi is the Immune System for the Internet™ that protects the foundation of all cybersecurity – cryptographic keys and digital certificates – so they can’t be misused by bad guys in attacks...
Security, data privacy, reliability, and regulatory compliance are critical factors when evaluating whether to move business applications from in-house, client-hosted environments to a cloud platform. Quality assurance plays a vital role in ensuring that the appropriate level of risk assessment, verification, and validation takes place to ensure business continuity during the migration to a new cloud platform.
It’s 2016: buildings are smart, connected and the IoT is fundamentally altering how control and operating systems work and speak to each other. Platforms across the enterprise are networked via inexpensive sensors to collect massive amounts of data for analytics, information management, and insights that can be used to continuously improve operations. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Brian Chemel, Co-Founder and CTO of Digital Lumens, will explore: The benefits sensor-networked systems bring to ...
Deploying applications in hybrid cloud environments is hard work. Your team spends most of the time maintaining your infrastructure, configuring dev/test and production environments, and deploying applications across environments – which can be both time consuming and error prone. But what if you could automate provisioning and deployment to deliver error free environments faster? What could you do with your free time?
"We formed Formation several years ago to really address the need for bring complete modernization and software-defined storage to the more classic private cloud marketplace," stated Mark Lewis, Chairman and CEO of Formation Data Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Cloud analytics is dramatically altering business intelligence. Some businesses will capitalize on these promising new technologies and gain key insights that’ll help them gain competitive advantage. And others won’t. Whether you’re a business leader, an IT manager, or an analyst, we want to help you and the people you need to influence with a free copy of “Cloud Analytics for Dummies,” the essential guide to this explosive new space for business intelligence.
Manufacturers are embracing the Industrial Internet the same way consumers are leveraging Fitbits – to improve overall health and wellness. Both can provide consistent measurement, visibility, and suggest performance improvements customized to help reach goals. Fitbit users can view real-time data and make adjustments to increase their activity. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mark Bernardo Professional Services Leader, Americas, at GE Digital, discussed how leveraging the Industrial Internet a...
Ixia (Nasdaq: XXIA) has announced that NoviFlow Inc.has deployed IxNetwork® to validate the company’s designs and accelerate the delivery of its proven, reliable products. Based in Montréal, NoviFlow Inc. supports network carriers, hyperscale data center operators, and enterprises seeking greater network control and flexibility, network scalability, and the capacity to handle extremely large numbers of flows, while maintaining maximum network performance. To meet these requirements, NoviFlow in...
There will be new vendors providing applications, middleware, and connected devices to support the thriving IoT ecosystem. This essentially means that electronic device manufacturers will also be in the software business. Many will be new to building embedded software or robust software. This creates an increased importance on software quality, particularly within the Industrial Internet of Things where business-critical applications are becoming dependent on products controlled by software. Qua...
When it comes to cloud computing, the ability to turn massive amounts of compute cores on and off on demand sounds attractive to IT staff, who need to manage peaks and valleys in user activity. With cloud bursting, the majority of the data can stay on premises while tapping into compute from public cloud providers, reducing risk and minimizing need to move large files. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Scott Jeschonek, Director of Product Management at Avere Systems, discussed the IT and busin...
In addition to all the benefits, IoT is also bringing new kind of customer experience challenges - cars that unlock themselves, thermostats turning houses into saunas and baby video monitors broadcasting over the internet. This list can only increase because while IoT services should be intuitive and simple to use, the delivery ecosystem is a myriad of potential problems as IoT explodes complexity. So finding a performance issue is like finding the proverbial needle in the haystack.