I just made an important recognition that I am node connected to the Internet-of-Things (IoT) via my life modem (a.k.a. smartphone). It serves as modem from my analog life to my digital representation and out onto the Internet-of-Things (IoT). Most of recognize that our smartphone records our life in a digital format. In essence it is a modem. Modem is short for MODulate / DE-Modulate which is process of converting an analog signal to a digital one and back. Our phone takes our analog world we perceive with our senses and puts it and more into a digital representation on our smartphone. I may want the info off the IoT, but it needs me.
While I used to love to spend time getting to know someone by pouring over someone’s albums (yes, large vinyl disk), tapes, DVD’s, or CD’s, now all I really need to see is there smartphone. Here are some things I might find out just scanning the smartphone.
- All your contact information and maybe some of your affiliations based on apps installed
- Your communications, duration, and frequency with via SMS, e-mail, and voice
- Your communications, duration, and frequency with apps (snapchat, twitter, etc.)
- Your locations throughout the days and weeks in the past (GPS)
- Your plans for the next day, week, month and even year (calendar)
- What travel services you frequent even w/out opening up the apps (travel apps)
- Who your friends and acquaintances are and their personal information (every social app and website, communication logs)
- What you like and dislike in the public space
- What time you go to bed and get up (alarms, clocks, accelerometer)
- What music, video, and games you like
- What publications, blogs and websites you frequent
- And even more…
All this information is poured up onto IoT plus you enhance it with social data. A few examples are I use Weather Underground for weather and confirm my weather experience up to every 15 minutes. I drive around with Waze or MotionX GPS consuming, entering, and confirming incidents, traffic, traffic cameras, and police cars. In each of these cases, what is the sensor – ME! I spy a traffic accident. I feel cold. I see a fire. I like a song. Have you noticed NetFlix gets quoted on the stats it keeps on us and our viewing which could be via mobile. Other mobile apps have become the authority and regularly report out our behavior, too. We, via our smartphones have become one of the biggest, if not the biggest, source of data for the IoT.
Why does it matter? While I had come to recognize I could get typical sensor data from the IoT like temperature, humidity, amount of fuel, etc on my smartphone, I had not realized how much it was two way street. I was consuming IoT data, but the IoT also consuming me as it needed a human touch and senses and my mobile device is the interface and translator into the digital world. It may explain why IoT’s rise of prevalence seems correlated to mobile devices although the technologies are analogous. It also makes me think different about relationship humans will have with the IoT and why it may become pivotal in our next chapter of technology advancement. Maybe he who controls the IoT might control more than just “things” since we are all jacked in via our smartphones.
Even if I haven’t convinced you are a node on the IoT and that it is important concept, I hope you’ve decided to increase the security of smartphone with a longer, more secure password given that it is digitally you.
I do think our next chapter of technology advancement will be socially even more disruptive, but that will be in my next blog.