quinta-feira, 27 de março de 2014

Ted, the fridge

Imagine the following conversation:

- Good morning, Mr. Ted. We received a contact from you and would like to verify how we can serve you.
- Thank you for contacting. I'm with my milk supply close to the minimum limit.
- I understand. Would you like to order some more milk?
- Yes I would like to order 6 liters of whole milk.
- Perfectly. Your order is registered and the final price with taxes is $ 28.00. Delivery will be made within 12 hours. The tracking code for your order is 89634529. Anything else I can offer today?
- Not at the moment. Thank you very much.

This is an absolutely natural conversation that occurs thousands of times every day around the world. The detail is that this one, in particular, is the communication between a refrigerator, called Ted, and the virtual attendant of a company that provides milk. The most optimistic forecasts indicate that this type of communication, which is already happening, will grow tremendously in the coming months and, before long, will be so natural that we will not find it strange to name a refrigerator Ted.

The IoT (Internet of Things) is the new frontier to be explored and promises to have a huge impact not only for businesses, but for each of us. The promise is big and points to a near future in which we will question deeply about "how could we live without all this communication?". To give an idea, I recently read an article and infographic prepared by the Best Computer Science Degrees, (an institution whose purpose is to advise interested in applying to something in the area of Computer Science) where they state that, in 2015, there will be around 25 billion devices and equipments connected to the Internet and communicating with each other.

The idea is simple. Today, our computers are connected to the Internet and each time they connect, they receive an IP address (I will not enter into the merits of static or dynamic IP, although this concept has a great impact on the subject). Going beyond our computers, the concept is that each device, like the radio of our cars, the refrigerator (both Ted as well as others), the television in our living room or the air conditioning in our room, each of them will be connected to the Internet. And all of them will provide services and resources not yet explored. The example of self-maintenance of stock is one of them, as well as the air conditioning in your home, that will automatically set themselves on the time and temperature that pleases you, a special selection of songs in your car, etc.. All of this will happen seamlessly. Example: your car could send a signal to the air conditioning system of your home when you are 2 miles away from your destination. Your alarm clock could send a signal to your coffee maker to prepare a coffee at a selected time. And many others that we can not even envision yet but, very soon, will be integral part of our lives.

The market is big. In 2012, it is estimated that the gross revenues of the segment, still in its early stages, was $4.8 trillion. This whole new world will generate even more information that somehow will need to be worked, reinforcing the concepts of Mobility, BigData and Analytics. We are very close to witness a major transformation in our lives in the coming years.

Check out the infographic prepared by them:

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