Let’s talk IoTivity

As the Samsung Developers Conference wraps up today, it’s been the inevitable ‘drinking from a firehose’ experience. An unending assault on the mind of things that ARE, and that ARE TO COME. A few themes stood out amongst the conversations I had, heard or attended.

The first being the term “IoTivity." Heard it dropped from one of the keynote speakers and then the flood gates opened. It started showing up everywhere! Suddenly I couldn’t escape IoTivity! And it was fantastic. And as you might of surmised, it’s simply referring to the activation (and, frankly the movement) that is the Internet of Things.

Amongst IoTivity things discussed, were the amazing projects already underway related to IoT. Some examples we’ve shared here over the last couple of months. But here are some other kick ass ones.

For starters there’s Vinli. Vinli connects right into your car and with it comes a number of features. Roadside assistance, an associated app store, and even an ability to track and monitor your driving habits. Vinli turns your car into a smart car! With that even comes an always on wifi hub. Imagine the long road trips where you and the entire family have constant access to the internet. On the road! Bring on the summer road trips!!

Then there was Presto. Remember that scene in Minority Report where Tom Cruise is surrounded by a giant screen, and through dramatic arm gestures he swipes and pinches content, even moving it from one screen to another? Well Presto is kinda like that. Through the capturing of movements, by wearing an Android Smartwatch, you can control a variety of environments, real or virtual! Your gesture is simply mimicked or assigned to an action. It’s quite genius when thinking about the possibilities of giving users the ability to control things more naturally. We may soon be able to eliminate the need to learn how to master devices and controls and instead simply use our already learned behaviors.

Both of those examples, and a few others I’ll cover in later posts, are partnerships that Samsung supports through their Accelerator program. Which is another key takeaway from the last two days - Samsung is determined to embark in IoT together, with anyone who chooses to play. They are opening up a variety of open source platforms (Tizen and KNOX). They have a few software platforms that allow just about anyone to create and code. And they even can offer a support network through their partnerships. Samsung is not only in the business of innovation but also facilitation. And that’s where the magic will happen! Shaping the connected future together.

But all of this technology is nothing without…people! Being one of the few, if not the only, UI designers at the conference, it was reassuring to hear more than a handful of times the comments that none of these ideas will have success if there isn’t purpose or context built into them. None other than leaders within Kaiser and CNN uttered the words that people are at the core. And that context is the key to success. CNN for example wants to extend their news leadership through mobile. And to do so, their vision is to have it happen through context. They don’t just want to curate content, but they want to make it relevant and purposeful at the exact moment, and based on the exact location, that you are in.

So the future of IoT is critically dependent on purpose and context. And to that end, the burning question about IoTivity that will linger from this event, is whether or not IoT can solve some of the worlds biggest challenges. Through the above samples, and others, I already see the opportunity to infuse service and emergency vehicles with intelligence. Maybe we will soon be able to use all of the data that we have from fitness & health trackers to proactively provide preventative care instead of simply responding to health events. And with VR, can you imagine how crazy the porn world might soon become? Kinda like that scene in Total Recall. 

And after all that, the answer to the burning question above is absolutely and emphatically, YES! Look no further than to something like Eddi. Eddi is a very effective way to infuse something as arbitrary as watering with intelligence. Maybe you agree? Whether you do or don’t, I welcome the dialogue!