Review of 3 Recent Internet of Thing (IoT) Announcements

Amazon dash buttons image - showing handheld scanning device

Working in the big data and analytics space, I’m always interested in parts of the Internet of Things (IoT) that will produce more data, require more backend systems, and help users/customers get on with their day better.

The past week has shown a few interesting announcements relating to Internet of Things topics.  Here are just a few that jumped out to me, either because they inspired me or because I was left wondering what it would really mean.

TL;DR?  Summary: While IBM is “getting started” (oops, I meant “getting serious”) and Facebook has big plans to “take over”, Amazon comes out with a consumer focused solution.


Facebook – Easing developer integration

Plans are awesome, big plans are big awesome!

This is really an announcement for app developers to drool over as it allows us to connect new things to the web easily.  “Parse for IoT, a new line of SDKs for connected devices…”

Their platform looks like it will take care of so much of the backend work that developers can focus on building out the user side of the app instead, which ultimately can connect to new devices.

Target: developers, manufacturers


IBM – Getting Serious about something

The logic behind the wording eludes me.  Are they getting serious because they weren’t before and are playing catchup?  Either way is fine, but it’s still a little confusing.  After all, other companies are still figuring out how to sell into this new market, develop products for it and, seemingly most difficult of all, trying to figure out how make announcements that are more engaging than this one.

Either I’m skim reading too fast, have an ultra low attention span, or missed something behind the headlines – because after all that I read, I’m left with this understanding:

“Yeah we can get into this too, just watch us, we’re spending lotsa cash!  And doing something with weather related energy disruption.  Watch us!”

I think I owe it to them to re-read some of the copy I saw because I may have read it before I had my morning tea.

Target audience: business, gov?


Amazon – Buying Things at the Right Time

Here I’m mentioning the Dash Buttons concept – both the sort of magic wand thingy, but also the button tags to hang from appliances.

All supply chain difficulties disappear in the wake of Amazon bulk goods delivery, or does it?  I can honestly say I’ve never ordered toilet paper or laundry detergent from Amazon, though this has certainly got my thinking.  Oddly enough, refills are a mere 400m down the street from me and that’s only marginally harder than answering the door for the courier.  But I digress…

This announcement hits all the right buttons for me (sorry couldn’t resist) even though I’m not an everyday Amazon user, nor even using Prime.  They are talking about things that every person understands and deals with – the magic behind the scenes is nicely hidden away, yet we know their entire supply chain infrastructure has been around a long time and this is just optimising the “when” factor – making it possible to not postpone placing an order, but doing on impulse/necessity.

Most of us will just use a mobile app instead but think a bit longer term.  With the largest aging population in the history of the multiverse (read: transgenerational design), the younger generations aren’t going to be able to keep up with their needs without some help.  Granted, many seniors can already operate their own apps today, but for everyone else, a button on the washing machine or soap dispenser could really fill in the gaps.  Couple that with some moderation-style smart apps for caretakers (oops, granny ordered detergent three times by mistake) and I think you’ve got some really interesting future elder care provisioning.

Target: consumers and manufacturers who are ready to sell.  Today!


Who wins for best announcement this week in your books? Tweet me!


© Tyler Mitchell / Spatialguru.com