Physical and virtual

Great thought piece here.

Real and virtual are crashing together. On one side is hardware that acts like software: IP-addressable, programmable with high-level procedural languages and APIs, able to be stitched into loosely coupled systems — the mashups of a new era. On the other is software that’s newly capable of dealing with the complex subtleties of the physical world — ingesting huge amounts of data, learning from it, and making decisions in real time.

It’s so very true, and thats the goal of IoT. To mash up your real world with computers and AI to the point where you don’t even know what’s acting and reacting to what any more.
The whole point of technology is to disappear. When it does that, it’s working like it’s supposed to.
When you don’t think about interacting with a thing, when it just does it’s job and with very little interaction from you, someone somewhere is smiling at a job well done.
Case in point is a smart lightbulb. When it turns on when you walk into a room and turns off when the last person walks out and when it does not turn off if you sit still. Things are working as they should.
Sounds easy right?
It aint. Trust me on this one.
Take some time to think about this at your house. Its what’s called an ‘easy hard’ problem. Sounds easy, but is actually really hard.

Connectivity options are now so cheap that some companies are building it into their products even if they don’t need them.
Computing power is now so cheap that every product has some sort of ability to run code of some kind. Gone are the days of fixed function devices.
It’s a light bulb, you turn it on, you turn it off. Not any more. It can now sense your smartphone. It can now talk to the Internet and know when you leave work, when you get close to your house, when you leave your home.

It can be updated with no intervention from you and now it knows about the weather. It can flash out a warning when rain is predicted for your neighbourhood. It did not have that function when you bought it, but hey, its a useful feature (at least to your wife it is).

It’s a physical light, but the virtual connections and functions it has is way past just a simple light switch.

Pretty interesting stuff.