The Data Behind the Internet of Things

Posted by: in Analytics, Connected Content, Innovation, Insights, Software, Technology on March 8, 2014

Everything is in betaAt the W2O Summit we hosted three speakers who shared a glimpse of what goes behind the Internet of Things, the age were we have machines and every day objects connected to the web.  Each gave a different perspective on what goes on behind the scenes to leverage the data generated – and each looking to make an impact.

Things You Manufacture

When you hear “Internet of Things,” you may think about things like a refrigerator that tells you when the milk is dated or the connected car.  John Bernaden, Director of Corporate Communications for Rockwell, took the discussion to the manufacturing plant.  Manufacturing is at an inflection point where billions of dollars in potential value can be unlocked in the manufacturing industry. Enterprise infrastructures used to be separated from the systems that run machine automation.  Today, they need to share a platform, and Bernaden tells us that it’s not just about the data – it’s the ability to leverage the data for integrated control and information.  In a plant there are thousands of assets that produce data, and Bernaden declared “They need to be be heard.”  Toyota is a great example of a plant that leverages data in real time, machine to machine, to look at trends to prevent mechanical problems and improve quality.

Things You See While Driving

Jon Maron, CMO of INRIX, focused on telling how “everything is old is new again.”  The billboard is a classic marketing tool that has been revitalized for marketers based on using the right data.  INRIX aggregates traffic pattern data and is able to track in detail cars driving by billboards.  They can track every car that drives by, including point of origin and stops along the way.  Imagine the potential to understand the audience that drives by a building in a specific neighborhood.  Digital billboards can be optimized to show real time traffic information or customize ads to the audience that is relevant at the time of day.  There are over four million miles of roads, and tens of billions of real-time GPS reports monthly.  By looking at vehicle count and integration with other data sources, it’s easier for marketers to calculate ROI.

Things You Wear

First Version of Google GlassJeben Berg, Senior Lead at YouTube/Google, shared the approach Google takes with Google Glass, describing it as “Everything is in Beta.”  Berg believes that more brands can learn from the approach, which treats everything as a test.  Showing the original version of Google Glass, Berg described the concept of “programmable spaces,” providing the wearing a custom experience based on the information about them – behaviors, preferences, location, and context.  While alluding that “You should never use Google Glass in bad places… Humanity is in the process of learning that,” there is still tremendous potential to build on these experiences.

Where to Go From Here

What’s clear based on these three presentations is that the use of data and connecting it to business outcomes is coming “fast and furiously,” according to Maron.  Questions to the panel focused around the possible safe uses of Glass while driving, or the responsible integration of real time data into dashboard displays to help drivers more effectively.  I, for one, am looking forward to seeing how companies can innovate to use data to better user experiences like these examples – so long as they do so responsibly.  Thanks to the speakers for sharing the data behind the curtain.

By: Adam Cohen

Adam is a Managing Director at WCG, based in Boston, MA. Adam brings over 18 years of technology, emerging media, management consulting and integrated marketing experience to this role, working with a broad array of Fortune 1000 clients in the areas of B2B, consumer products, retail, financial services and healthcare.

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