Is the Internet of Things (IoT) different?

I’ve been thinking and reading and discussing the Internet of Things (IoT) quite a bit lately. Being in Seattle, we talk quite a bit about coffee, craft beer, wine, and hiking. That said, it seems like lately I have been discussing IoT more than all of those combined. So what is it and is it anything new?

The IoT is not new but is the next step in technology evolution and does mark a pretty significant step forward. Clemens Vasters just posted a piece on LinkedIn that gives a good perspective on the IoT and how it is different. He suggests that as we have shifted from centralized IT to a more decentralized IT environment we have always maintained human interaction.

The interaction is to make sure data gets into the correct system, gets manipulated into some expected bit of information, and then is pushed out to the right people for consumption. With the IoT, we have introduced sensors that mimic a person’s senses, such as taste, feel, temperature, and smell. The sensors push the data back to somewhere for processing, and once done, it can be consumed by another computer to make decisions and take actions on our behalf. An example he sites is interacting with a car that is part of a car sharing program in a major city. In Seattle we have a program that uses a phone app to get approval to use a car and to unlock it.

Other examples include the myriad of personal health monitoring devices that sense your position, heart rate, breathing, etc. and sends the information to a central data store to be consolidated, manipulated, and to provide the expected information to you or a device you designate as receiver of the information.

The difference between this and the interactions of the past is the high personal touch and limited amount of data being collected. So is the IoT different? Yes, different but an expected evolution. And it is an opportunity to help you determine your career path. The IoT opens endless possibilities for allowing you to take your passion, find a niche, and create an IoT solution to help with automation. Then, using cloud technology you can set up a proof of concept you can use to get funding and become the next high tech billionaire.


Andy Ruth
SEI Mentor 
Apprenticeship Program