The Power of IoT

Today I am in New York with my colleagues from Ericsson Research meeting IBM Research. We are talking about the Internet of Things (IoT) – the trend of physical things becoming connected and available for developers to build services using them. And I am staying at this nice hotel at Times Square called CitizenM. The first thing I always do in when I enter my room is to search for a regulator somewhere on the wall to increase the temperature in the room. I fail at doing that but shortly after I discover an iPad with an application to control everything in the room – curtains, blinds, lights, TV, A/C, and even the color of the lighting in the bathroom. There are also modes you can choose between – romance, business, party, etc – that make the whole room change its character. How cool is that? Some years ago we enjoyed the Emergency Party Button videos on youtube (such as this one:, and now it has actually been implemented commercially.

Another cool example is Car2Go – a service where you can grab and drop off a Smart car anywhere in a city, that you control from an application on your phone. And if something is not working for you – just check that application – it has the answer. The state of all the car sensors is monitored by the cloud application, and if you try to end your rental while the trunk is open or when the car is parked a forbidden area the application will complain.

And what about the stage for Eurovision Song Contest? Last years’ performance of Måns Zelmerlöw started a trend, and this year every second artist used the cool animations provided by that stage. Did they get an API for that?

And the most interesting innovations will come with cross-domain interactions. IoT breaks the verticals and allows application developers to build their services across domains, which in its turn opens up a lot of new business values. Can the mood that I choose for my hotel room stretch to the car that I rent? I have been working with connected embedded systems for many years and still I get mind-blown when I see them in practice – it’s actually happening!

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