The Internet of Things in Tomorrow’s Context

The question “What is the Internet of Things (IoT)” has a many answers. It sounds Awesome!  I can connect my microwave, fridge and kettle to my Wi-Fi!!! … But in the end it’s kind of useless, right?  However, that is true only in today’s kitchen.

As thought experiment, think back to when phones were, … well, phones.  If you’re long-in-the-tooth like me, you might even think about a black rotary dial model.   Now imagine your interest in watching TV on that phone. (Yeah, Live TV, not YouTube or NetFlix).  On yesterday’s phone, this also seems like madness.

Fast forward to today. In 2015, 51% of all video was watched on mobile devices.

So now imagine an IoT enabled microwave, fridge and kettle, and project to tomorrow’s context.

These appliances are part of your connected home.  Your connected home has unobtrusive, privacy-enabled, sensors that track and think about your movements in the house.  For example, data from sensors in floor tiles or cameras are feeding an artificially intelligent (AI) agent in a data center.

When you wake up and make your way to the kitchen, the kettle has just finished perking because your AI agent made the decision to heat the water based on the predictive models it has about you.  Perhaps, while making your tea, you think about upgrading your shelving units to include robotic arms that will make the tea for you.

Or maybe you have no kitchen appliances in your house at all, because you decided to subscribe to the robotic delivery service that just installed a container two blocks away.

Your agent then decides to display your day’s schedule on the nearby screen(s).  That screen could be on your microwave, fridge , wall  – or wherever – after all, screens don’t cost much more than wall paper now-a-days.

Or, perhaps, your agent recognizes that you’re feeling nostalgic and missing the good ol’ days.  On the wall screen, it displays your original kitchen, with that old Danby fridge and microwave you had in your first condo. And you hear that familiar “Ding” when it delivers you your tea. As you sip your tea (heated to your preferred temperature), your kettle (a kettle no more) tells you all about the morning news, suggests the best foods to eat, and more.  The future has arrived.

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