CEO Blog: The Sex Appeal of M2M
I have this conversation now all the time. I am not entirely sure about this, but I think the facial expressions I see might be very similar to the ones witnessed by Moonies or Tom Cruise when he's jumping on couches or talking about Scientology. That does not damper my enthusiasm however, although it may lead to my wife and me being invited to fewer parties. But it remains my favorite conversation. I call it the "M2M wave will change the world as we know it" conversation. It goes something like this…
In the late 80s and early 90s, nobody was really surfing the web or thinking in terms of the internet. Fast forward ten years and everyone is plugged in. Ten years more and everyone is plugged in via a smart phone, on Facebook, and generally existing in a hyper-extended virtual world: all facilitated by the internet. Life changed and, in a way, we will never - and really can never - look back. Some resist, some embrace; but it is the reality of our world today. One thing is for certain, the internet also fostered a boom of technology companies as it changed life as we know it.
Today, I think we are in a similar position to where we were in the early 90s, but the distinction is a little more subtle. The internet is not about to happen - it already did. There isn't going to be another one. But at first, the internet allowed everyone to go to web sites and read things. More recently, it allows people to go to websites and do things, like trade stocks or check into flights, or donate money, and much, much more. In fact, now all of these things are now made possible via mobile applications as well riding over the internet. The last few years have been characterized by some as the "era of the handset." I think that's true. The projections on handsets connected to the internet is expected to exceed the number of people on earth in the not-too-distant future. That means cell phones are extending beyond the reach of electricity. And while that does represent a bit of sea change in terms of how we exploit technology, the real wave, the next wave, the "dawn of the internet" type wave is, I truly believe, the coming of M2M solutions. Some will call this the "era of the device." Machine talking to machines. No human intervention and/or some human interaction, but a completely new day. And that day will be here in no time.
What is that day, exactly? It's the one where your refrigerator "talks" to your power meter, which in turn coordinates with your washing machine, thermostat, and ultimately the power generation station and substation responsible for delivering power into your house. And the thermostat "talks" to the weatherman, or should I say, weather devices that provide instructions on heating and cooling based on weather changes. Your body may be "talking" to your phone to "tell it" that your blood sugar is too low, or your heartbeat is too fast, or your temperature is too high, and your phone many then "call" the doctor, or the pharmacy, or some other medical provider, and you may be automatically scheduled to go see the doctor. So you get in your car, which already "knows" where you are going and drives you there. You don't drive, the car does. It "talks" to the traffic system, routing or re-routing based on what it is being "told," and driving headed on a precise understanding of where it is, all the while sensing everything that is around it, including how fast or slow other cars are moving relative to it. I could go on and on, but you get the picture.
This is the world of smart grids for energy. This is the world of intelligent cars and smart cities. This is the world of mobile health. IBM calls it the "Smarter Planet." Many are now referencing "the internet of things." And many, many companies are getting extremely deep in their understanding and potential exploitation of this, including Cisco, Vodaphone, Siemens, GE, Hitachi, IBM, EMC, Oracle, Huawei, Fujitsu, Microsoft, and on and on and on. This is the surest indication that the vision becomes the reality.
At Infobright we are so laser locked into this because the fuel for all of this is machine-generated-data. That is what we do all day, every day. And we do it well. And we love it. And, we believe it will literally change the world. Literally.
How cool is that?