Weekend IoT Reading: big small data

There’s a strong big data flavor to my IoT news round up this week. Or should I say small data? Forbes contributor Mike Kavis provides a very convincing argument about the importance of small datasets captured by sensors on smart devices such as wind turbines and packages in triggering events that can lead to instant savings such as reductions in energy bills. He concludes by saying that “optimizing these business processes can save companies millions of dollars through the analysis of relatively small datasets. Small data knows what a tracked object is doing.”

No matter whether it’s big data or small data that you’re collecting, it “must be processed and analyzed to glean insights, and those insights must drive actionable steps that can improve the business.” That’s the key conclusion of this article on ZDNet, which also lists ten interesting examples of how “IoT and big data working well together to provide analysis and insight” ranging from the increasingly famous Disney World Magic Band to connected monitoring devices in King’s Hawaiian bread production factories.

What lies beyond Big Data? Cognitive computing in all likelihood. According to Pat Moorhead, it “is going to be what lifts the entire industry up from competing on Gigahertz and number of cores in the coming years and companies will do battle to provide more unique and personal computing experiences.” Pat also believes Qualcomm has a pretty good shot with its Zeroth platform.

Tim O’Reilly is concerned that too much focus on wearables and other novelty items is leading us to underestimate the massive disruption that IoT will have on all our lives and calls on the industry to think about systems rather than gadgets. Not for the first time, he points to how Uber is revolutionizing payment systems not just the taxi business as a sign of things to come, concluding that “What Uber is doing with payments may be more important in the long run than Apple Pay. Apple Pay re-creates the old workflow, just with a new device. It would be revolutionary to say we don’t need that at all.”

On the other hand, wearables may provide the spark for Apple Pay and similar systems to really take off in retail, according to Navneet Loiwal, though he admits that the technology still has a long way to go in order to hit the mainstream.

Plenty of food for thought on my flight over to the Digital Signage Expo!

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