The Internet of Things

By Ran Berger, Flat Rock CEO

The Internet Of Things…Our Personal Data is the New Currency for us to trade…Really???

“….my meeting in Covent Garden is in 45 minutes and I just left the train station, my iWatch is beeping…there’s a new Starbucks 10% discount voucher for my small takeaway latte which is available in the closest shop for the next 10 minutes…”

This scenario is a very simple one, which is practically available as our mobile and wearable devices already tracking, and collecting sufficient data to send us such bespoke offers.

Such cases are the current good example of what the Internet Of Things already means. But the future holds much more complex situations. To take for example the car insurances, we can assume that within 5-7 years (or less?) our insurance provider will not renew our policy if we don’t have constant sensors that track our driving habits to measure the risk and tailor the premium prices. The embryonic stage of such an example could be found at the insurance company

Similar revolution is likely to happen with our health insurance. Our critical measure such as the heart rate, blood pressure and pulse will determine the risk level and predict the likelihood of us suffering from an extreme medical event. The seeds for this were already planted into iOS8 with the OEM health app that you cannot remove from the desktop.

There are many ways to define what The Internet of Things is and actually a good way to understand the evolution is with reference to one of the previous trends, Web2.0, and see the shift.

Web2.0 as defined in Wiki is World Wide Web sites that use technology beyond the static pages of earlier web sites. A Web 2.0 site may allow users to interact and collaborate with each other in a social media dialogue as creators of user-generated content in a virtual community, in contrast to web sites where people are limited to the passive viewing of content. Examples of Web 2.0 include social networking sites, blogs, wikis, folksonomies, video sharing sites, hosted services, Web applications, and mashups.

Whether Web 2.0 is substantively different from prior web technologies has been challenged by the World Wide Web inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee, who describes the term as jargon. His original vision of the Web was “a collaborative medium, a place where we [could] all meet and read and write”


And The Internet of Things definition is…

The Internet of Things (IoT) is the interconnection of uniquely identifiable embedded computing devices within the existing Internet infrastructure. Typically, IoT is expected to offer advanced connectivity of devices, systems, and services that goes beyond machine-to-machine communications (M2M) and covers a variety of protocols, domains, and applications. The interconnection of these embedded devices (including smart objects), is expected to usher in automation in nearly all fields, while also enabling advanced applications like a Smart Grid.

Things, in the IoT, can refer to a wide variety of devices such as heart monitoring implants, biochip transponders on farm animals, automobiles with built-in sensors, or field operation devices that assist fire-fighters in search and rescue. Current market examples include smart thermostat systems and washer/dryers that utilize Wi-Fi for remote monitoring.

To sum up some of the key changes:

→ We moved from websites to applications
→ We are moving from database driven solutions to multiple smart objects (Big data)
→ There’s a shift from using enterprise solutions to local small apps that may come together to offer us more bespoke offerings and solutions
→ There’s a wide new spectrum of connected devices and we are no longer limited to desktop/mobile devices. Smart glasses, bracelets, watches, cloths and almost everything could become smart
→ We are moving from Capex based purchase to Opex and that is translated to rental model
→ Our data is the new currency!

We should all remember that this intrusive albeit collaborative have some points to consider before it becomes mainstream. Here are some of the main points that require attention:

→ Regulation
→ Security
→ Simplification of Terms of use (most of us accept them without reading)
→ Ability to manage opt in/out
→ Amount of data

It seems like we are already witnessing the wave of this revolution and we should ride it and enjoy (don’t forget to lookout and avoid the sharks).


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