Big Data has 4 problems.

(Only 4?).

Short version: I am running into problems 1 and 4.

The Internet of Things (IoT) has a data problem. Well, four data problems. Walking the halls of CES in Las Vegas last week, it’s abundantly clear that the IoT is hot. Everyone is claiming to be the world’s smartest something. But that sprawl of devices, lacking context, with fragmented user groups, is a huge challenge for the burgeoning industry.

What the IoT needs is data. Big data and the IoT are two sides of the same coin. The IoT collects data from myriad sensors; that data is classified, organized, and used to make automated decisions; and the IoT, in turn, acts on it. It’s precisely this ever-accelerating feedback loop that makes the coin as a whole so compelling.

Nowhere are the IoT’s data problems more obvious than with that darling of the connected tomorrow known as the wearable. Yet, few people seem to want to discuss these problems:

Long version: For the link following adverse, here is problem 1;

Problem one: Nobody will wear 50 devices

If there’s one lesson today’s IoT start-ups have learned from their failed science project predecessors, it’s that things need to be simple and turnkey. As a result, devices are designed to do one thing really well. A corollary of this is that there’s far too much specialization happening — a device specifically, narrowly designed to measure sleep, or eating speed, or knee health.

Unfortunately, nobody’s going to charge, manage, and wear 50 devices, looking like a demented garage-sale cyborg.

I’m running out of wrists….. I have three devices and only two hands.
Thankfully, one of the devices (due next month from Kickstarter) is to be glued to my body under my rib cage… No, I’m not kidding. It comes with a years supply of special conductive patches that last around a week (or longer if I don’t shower).
Yes, photos will follow its arrival. Oh, and thats enough out of you Gary.
The other device is a wrist mounted ‘watch’. It will track my activity like nothing else (or so Kickstarter promise).

Point is, I totally agree. I am already charging too many devices as it is and now I just added two more into the mix.
This then flows only too nicely into problem number 4.

Problem four: Context is everything

If data doesn’t change your behavior, why bother collecting it? Perhaps the biggest data problem the IoT faces is correlating the data it collects with actions you can take. Consider V1bes, which calls itself a “mind app.” It measures stress levels and brain activity. Sociometric Solutions does the same thing by listening to the tone of my voice, and can predict my stress levels accurately.

That sounds useful: it’d be great to see how stressed I was at a particular time, or when my brain was most active. But unless I can see the person to whom I was talking, or hear the words I was thinking about, at that time, it’s hard to do anything about it. The data tells me I’m stressed; it doesn’t tell me who’s triggering my chronic depression or who makes my eyes light up.

This is so spot on. The rib sensor got my money for two reasons, Firstly, its going to give me accurate heart rate, but equally important, it is one of the few devices that promises to measure my stress level.
But, problem 4 then raises its head… Ok, rib sensor tells me I had a stressful day, but why? It measures, and equally important to me, quantifies that stress (ie, on a scale of 1 to 10, how stressed was I?), but it offers zero reasons why.

Then we are back to problem 1. I now have 3 devices, 4 if you count the body analyzer in the bathroom that I stand on every morning.
One guess how many apps I have….. Yup. 4. And none of them know about the other. None of them share or offer joint insights to my life.
It has (will) placed an even greater burden on me to keep track of all this data and figure out what it all means.
I did all this to gain greater insight to my life and to get answers, not to be stressed out over the data I am collecting on myself!

Big Data and IoT has a lot of work to do…….