By Gary Sorkin
We are consumed with the Internet of Things, abbreviated as the IoT. The next step is the Internet of People (IoP).
IoT has taken over significant mind-share and is being used by virtually every sector of technology. Sure, the proliferation of sensors, low cost radio chipsets and software stacks which can be implemented inexpensively are causing a Tsunami of entries into this niche. But be forewarned: Too many people will not use the gadgetry if it is at all necessary to install it with wizards and options.
Even the simplest of settings are sometimes thought to be beyond the understanding of non-early adapters. Years past, I remember my VCR “Flashing 12:00” for days on end whereas all it needed was to reset the time of day after a power cycle.
The difficulty of programming preferences and profiles are leading to the re-emergence of AI to help in establishing thresholds. Nest (purchased by Google) was first to market with a “memory” programmable communicating thermostat (PCG) which over time would learn the homeowner’s schedule, adapting in advance what would be an intuitive setting. With the programming and setting up these wireless mesh networks being subject to Artificial Intelligence, no more flashing 12:00’s.
But this gadgetry falls short of the real benefit, being the Internet of People (IoP).
Certainly social media has created an addictive medium for interpersonal communication – just look around how people’s heads are stuck to their phones.
Once the IoT of your devices wants to meet the IoT of some else’s, then new levels of sophistication will be achieved. For example, when you visit a friend, your preferences as to the HVAC settings, carried with you in your smartphone settings will be imposed upon your host’s system for your benefit.
Years back, in the heyday of modems, a company in Minnesota, Multi-Tech Systems, ran an ad which still holds true. It read, “Modems Don’t Communicate, People Do.”
This now comes to the IoP, “The Internet doesn’t communicate, yes, People Do.” So you have now hardware, software and peopleware. No batteries required for the latter.
Gary Sorkin is the founder of Pacific Communication Group, specializing in cyber-security and end-point hardening of wireless communication mesh networks. His group is currently working with the Wi-SUN Alliance on 802.15.4 smart grid and IoT networking standards.