“Theory is when you know everything but nothing works. Practice is when everything works but no one knows why. Between us, Theory and Practice agree: nothing works and nobody knows why.” Anonymous.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is clearly the next big step in the technology industry. It will be almost like the second Industrial Revolution, opening a world of incalculable, even greater possibilities in the digital age, potentially achieving greater independence and, therefore, greater efficiency.
Imagine the possibilities. Refrigerators that measure the food inside and replenish the right product from your preferred vendor. Mirrors that can determine if you have symptoms of illness and make health recommendations for you. Smart watches that monitor your vital signs and warn the health services if you have a problem or emergency. Traffic lights that connect to a circuit of cameras to identify the level of traffic and mass movement, thus preventing absurd waiting times in areas of little movement. Automated plantations, smart city lighting, courier drones that deliver whatever you want and wherever you want, autonomous cars that pick you up anywhere in the city… Sounds like futurist Sci-Fi. But what if this scenario was closer than we think?
I had the pleasure of attending Big Data Week in Barcelona (#BDW15) recently, which featured top speakers from industry leading companies. My expectation was that I would listen to a lot of talks on technology, programming languages, Hadoop, R and theories about the future for humans and business in this new era of Big Data.
After hearing the first presentations from Telefonica (Telcos), BBVA Data & Analytics (Finance) and the Smart Living Program at Mobile World Capital Barcelona (Technology), I realized something. Regardless of the industry, it was all about how insights from data produced by physical objects disrupt our lives as individuals, consumers, parents, and business leaders. It doesn’t matter which role you play. Yes, it was all about the “Internet of Things” or to take it a step forward, the “Analytics of Things”. These companies are already changing the way they do business by leveraging information from internet connected devices that they already have.
And, that is just the beginning. Gartner estimates that by 2020, there will be 20+ billion of devices connected to IoT. Dresner’s 2015 The Internet of Things and Business Intelligence report, estimates that 67% of enterprises consider IoT to be an important part of their future strategies and 89% of information professionals think predictive analytics will do the same within the Internet of Things. The data itself is not the point, it is how Big Data Analytics technologies enable organizations to collect, cross, integrate and analyze data from devices to design better products and make our lives easier.
So, have Theory and Practice finally converged? What if the future is right now?