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In a World of Connected Devices, Focus on What They Do

In a World of Connected Devices, Focus on What They Do
Photograph by Bill O'Connell

The Internet of Things is an amorphous concept, much like the Internet itself: People assume it’s a network of connected devices that will somehow let them do something or monitor something over the Internet. But the folks trying to build the Internet of things can’t be content with a mere concept; they need to refine it, so they can actually deliver on the awesome promise that the combination of connected devices, cloud computing, and faster data analytics can offer.

Last night in San Francisco, five speakers at the GigaOM Internet of things meetup hashed out a definition for the concept, called for better design associated with Internet of things-based services and begged people to share their data. As for that definition, it wasn’t exactly definite, but all of the participants agreed that the connected device wasn’t the product; the service was.
Ideally, the Internet of things should fade into the background; what matters is what it allows people to do.