Welcome!

Java IoT Authors: Liz McMillan, Zakia Bouachraoui, Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski

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

@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.


IoT & Smart Cities Stories
Cloud computing delivers on-demand resources that provide businesses with flexibility and cost-savings. The challenge in moving workloads to the cloud has been the cost and complexity of ensuring the initial and ongoing security and regulatory (PCI, HIPAA, FFIEC) compliance across private and public clouds. Manual security compliance is slow, prone to human error, and represents over 50% of the cost of managing cloud applications. Determining how to automate cloud security compliance is critical...
Enterprises have taken advantage of IoT to achieve important revenue and cost advantages. What is less apparent is how incumbent enterprises operating at scale have, following success with IoT, built analytic, operations management and software development capabilities - ranging from autonomous vehicles to manageable robotics installations. They have embraced these capabilities as if they were Silicon Valley startups.
"MobiDev is a Ukraine-based software development company. We do mobile development, and we're specialists in that. But we do full stack software development for entrepreneurs, for emerging companies, and for enterprise ventures," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
The Internet of Things is clearly many things: data collection and analytics, wearables, Smart Grids and Smart Cities, the Industrial Internet, and more. Cool platforms like Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Intel's Galileo and Edison, and a diverse world of sensors are making the IoT a great toy box for developers in all these areas. In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists discussed what things are the most important, which will have the most profound e...
As IoT continues to increase momentum, so does the associated risk. Secure Device Lifecycle Management (DLM) is ranked as one of the most important technology areas of IoT. Driving this trend is the realization that secure support for IoT devices provides companies the ability to deliver high-quality, reliable, secure offerings faster, create new revenue streams, and reduce support costs, all while building a competitive advantage in their markets. In this session, we will use customer use cases...
Bill Schmarzo, author of "Big Data: Understanding How Data Powers Big Business" and "Big Data MBA: Driving Business Strategies with Data Science," is responsible for setting the strategy and defining the Big Data service offerings and capabilities for EMC Global Services Big Data Practice. As the CTO for the Big Data Practice, he is responsible for working with organizations to help them identify where and how to start their big data journeys. He's written several white papers, is an avid blogge...
When talking IoT we often focus on the devices, the sensors, the hardware itself. The new smart appliances, the new smart or self-driving cars (which are amalgamations of many ‘things'). When we are looking at the world of IoT, we should take a step back, look at the big picture. What value are these devices providing. IoT is not about the devices, its about the data consumed and generated. The devices are tools, mechanisms, conduits. This paper discusses the considerations when dealing with the...
Business professionals no longer wonder if they'll migrate to the cloud; it's now a matter of when. The cloud environment has proved to be a major force in transitioning to an agile business model that enables quick decisions and fast implementation that solidify customer relationships. And when the cloud is combined with the power of cognitive computing, it drives innovation and transformation that achieves astounding competitive advantage.
With 10 simultaneous tracks, keynotes, general sessions and targeted breakout classes, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO are two of the most important technology events of the year. Since its launch over eight years ago, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO have presented a rock star faculty as well as showcased hundreds of sponsors and exhibitors! In this blog post, we provide 7 tips on how, as part of our world-class faculty, you can deliver one of the most popular sessions at our events. But before reading...
If a machine can invent, does this mean the end of the patent system as we know it? The patent system, both in the US and Europe, allows companies to protect their inventions and helps foster innovation. However, Artificial Intelligence (AI) could be set to disrupt the patent system as we know it. This talk will examine how AI may change the patent landscape in the years to come. Furthermore, ways in which companies can best protect their AI related inventions will be examined from both a US and...