Upgrade your company - Industrial opportunities for the internet of things, Vlad Trifa

(I arrived 15 minutes later, after the presentation)

Growth in open source sensor technologies. SAPs NetWeaver is an open source set of tech for this. Interop is important - companies want open standards.

[ Break-out session on threats and opportunities of embedded sensor networks ]

Now classifying thinking from the various groups into technological, social, interaction design and business aspects: T, S, I, B

Group 1:

  1. Do we let computers decide? (S)
  2. Do I trust these systems? (S)
  3. How do we know we're safe from hackers either controlling or reading sensors? (T, S)
  4. How do we ensure data is encrypted or safe? Should it expire so that by the time it can be encrypted, it's worthless? (T)
  5. Is it healthy? (S)
  6. How do you route traffic in a large network? (T)
  7. Can we share network information freely and share it (e.g. Swiss train timetables and train positions)? (I)
  8. Can we create our own on-the-fly networks? (I)
  9. How do we present a "CPU-based-solution"? (T)
  10. What do we want? (B)

Group 2:

  1. Technology is neutral, use of technology is where opportunity/risk lies. (S)
  2. Lots of opportunities for company appliances. (S)
  3. How do we define access to data or limits of privacy? (S)
  4. What happens at the end of these devices' life? What's their life cycle and ecological impact? (S)
  5. Energy issues, energy scavenging from whatever you monitor (e.g. measure vibrations and simultaneously extract energy from them). (T)
  6. Challenge of integration: will human beings accept this sort of thing on a large scale? What happens to people who don't accept it? (S)
  7. Customers are looking for differentiation, but much of this technology is a commodity and everywhere - which doesn't bring that. (B)
  8. Legally and in terms of privacy, we're lagging behind the technology. (S)
  9. There's no standardisation of this stuff yet when it comes to RFID (and wireless or even power). (S)
  10. Singapore is interesting: they've integrated some of these technologies and can monitor a great deal about their citizens. (S)
  11. Maybe these technologies could be used for selective terrorism - e.g. use RFID readers to recognise individual Americans and therefore target individuals. (S)

Group 3:

  1. How do we design for failure, for networks of sensors which have a finite life and depend on each other? (T)
  2. The classic science-fiction vision of the future is seamless, with technology mediating everyday life. How might we use sensor networks to bring back serendipity? (S)
  3. Digital sensors digitise everything, quantising analogue data. Does access to digital sensors reduce our confidence in the analogue (biological) ones? (I)
  4. Measuring something changes our relationship to it - e.g. Nike+ changes my running habits. (I)
  5. Younger generations may have a different relationship with this technology to us. We consider our homes to be what lies within 4 walls, when wireless networks extend our reach beyond these confined areas - an extension younger generations may unconsciously factor in. (Channelling Dunne & Raby here) (S)
  6. Ethical debate: we embed chips into cats and dogs, when do we start routinely doing this to humans? (S)
  7. Visibility: the dilemma of control over being controlled. (S)

Vlad talks about a "city of the future" being funded and built from scratch in Korea, which will be fully digital: no money, keys, etc: "New Songdo City". Also brings up the example of Octopus in Korea (must find out more about this).

Question from the audience: is there another model of exchange beyond bits and bytes of privacy exchanged for a smoother passage through life?

(Would this data have value if anonymised and then aggregated? Would this provide a means of playing with these sort of networks (which we don't fully understand) in society (which we don't fully understand) more safely? So, for instance: the room I'm in right now has 14 or so people in it. The fact that there are 14 people here probably enables us to make some sensible decisions around air conditioning, temperature, and lighting - without us knowing anything about who these people are. So would a sensor network which only provides information consumers with anonymised information be of any value?)

Q: how do we cope with different desires from different individuals? If I walk into a room and tell the window to open, then my dad walks in and asks it to close - who wins? How do we achieve consensus with these technologies as we do in a democratic way in our society?