Welcome!

@CloudExpo Authors: Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Steven Lamb, William Schmarzo

Related Topics: @ThingsExpo, Java IoT, Mobile IoT, Linux Containers, @CloudExpo, @BigDataExpo

@ThingsExpo: Article

Turing or Touring Machines – Intelligent Cars and the IoT

A social network of things is a user model humans can again relate with

The Mass Technology Leadership Council (MassTLC) recently hosted the The Value of Things (VoT): MassTLC IoT Conference in Waltham, Massachusetts. There was surprisingly little disagreement between the various panelists on the future of the Internet of Things (IoT), but probably not in the way you might expect. Sure everyone was in agreement about the billions of devices and trillions of dollars in market growth; however, something else was afoot. Nearly all the panelists were in agreement that the free-for-all model of the consumer Internet and mobile markets would not repeat itself. With IoT, the sheer number of devices and their pervasiveness has already put governments and regulators around the world on notice. Here's the consensus: design your system to support an opt-in model with high security and concerns for privacy otherwise, within the next 5 years, you will be shut-out.

How does one develop a user model for managing so many devices and complex networks? I think the trick is to leverage the already familiar analogs. Keynote speaker, Sanjay Sarma, Director of Digital Learning, MIT; Founder, MIT's Auto-ID Center spoke about connected cars. Cars have hundreds of devices in them today and no one thinks about each individual one. Instead people interact with the car on a higher level. Sanjay proposed a user model where communication occurs with avatars or in this case he called it a "Carvatar." Interaction is just like any other Avatar online, be it real or robotic. The intelligent car is then able to answer questions like "How much fuel do you have?" or "What is the cabin temperature?" However, the Avatar needs to have more capabilities than just simple factual statements, builders of these Avatars need to give them agency to ensure they have the ability to organize their subordinate devices into a set of questions and commands that supports a useful conversation and interaction:

Owner: Car, what is the cabin temperature?
Car: 78 degrees
Owner: Car, Set temperature target to 68 degrees.
Car: Ok

Collapsing all the interaction from dozens of individual knobs and buttons to a single smart interface with an agent is great, but it isn't enough. Sanjay also referenced the pet peeve many of us have with the current smart devices in the world today: they are designed for local pairing over say Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, which is limiting. I don't pair my phone to my wife's car because it will wipe out the pairing already configured for her phone nor can I switch control of the music to my daughter's phone while I retain control over navigation. In order for these Agents to be truly useful and innovative they must be able to have multiple and varied relationships with other devices.

This leads to my own vision: a social network of things that I believe is a user model humans can again relate with. Think about your device Avatar in terms of a social network. The device should be configurable to accept relationships with some parameters, and to build its own circles or lists (but with privacy and security settings that actually work!). For example, a device should have a circle called "owners" but also a circle called "siblings" where any device whose "owner" is the same as my own I can consider a "sibling." Imagine a circle such as "devices near me." Such a circle is less intimate so you probably want to share a lot less with that group of device "acquaintances." You can imagine using a simple set of rules to build out a handful of these circles. The devices can then go beyond simple self-organizing meshes for networking and develop more complex relationships of varying duration. Back to our car example, perhaps a car will broadcast "I'm braking" to members of the "nearby circle", but only "owners" can interrogate the temperature and command temperature changes.

Finally, what do these user models mean for the business model? For a start, if data is all opt-in and regulations prevent the reselling of data, you should plan to demonstrate the value of your application and charge for that value directly to the beneficiaries. Are you able to reduce repairs and maintenance? Offer a lower support contract for the up-front purchase of the application or instrumented devices. Does your application make cars safer? Turn insurance companies into channels and split the savings with them. Offer peace of mind to parents and pet owners with a park geo-fence that charges a per use fee as kids or pets enter the space. The business models will be as endless as the applications waiting to be brought to market and MetraTech is looking forward to supporting you all in this endeavor.

More Stories By Jason Mondanaro

Jason Mondanaro is a global thought leader for cloud billing and micropayment technologies. He drives product leadership and third-party cloud vendor integrations for Metanga, MetraTech’s cloud-based billing solution. Over the past 16 years Jason has co-authored patents on micropayments and high volume transactional aggregation. He jointly designed and acted as lead developer for the eO transit payment system. The eO System was awarded the 2009 Best Transportation Application Sesame award by CARTES & IDenditifaction and was instrumental to the American Public Transportation Association's 2009 Innovation Award to the Utah Transit Authority, Salt Lake City, UT.

You can view his other blogs at www.metratech.com/blog.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@CloudExpo Stories
Organizations planning enterprise data center consolidation and modernization projects are faced with a challenging, costly reality. Requirements to deploy modern, cloud-native applications simultaneously with traditional client/server applications are almost impossible to achieve with hardware-centric enterprise infrastructure. Compute and network infrastructure are fast moving down a software-defined path, but storage has been a laggard. Until now.
Continuous testing helps bridge the gap between developing quickly and maintaining high quality products. But to implement continuous testing, CTOs must take a strategic approach to building a testing infrastructure and toolset that empowers their team to move fast. Download our guide to laying the groundwork for a scalable continuous testing strategy.
Let’s face it, embracing new storage technologies, capabilities and upgrading to new hardware often adds complexity and increases costs. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Seth Oxenhorn, Vice President of Business Development & Alliances at FalconStor, discussed how a truly heterogeneous software-defined storage approach can add value to legacy platforms and heterogeneous environments. The result reduces complexity, significantly lowers cost, and provides IT organizations with improved efficienc...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 19th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world and ThingsExpo Silicon Valley Call for Papers is now open.
The IoT is changing the way enterprises conduct business. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, discussed how businesses can gain an edge over competitors by empowering consumers to take control through IoT. He cited examples such as a Washington, D.C.-based sports club that leveraged IoT and the cloud to develop a comprehensive booking system. He also highlighted how IoT can revitalize and restore outdated business models, making them profitable ...
The cloud competition for database hosts is fierce. How do you evaluate a cloud provider for your database platform? In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Chris Presley, a Solutions Architect at Pythian, gave users a checklist of considerations when choosing a provider. Chris Presley is a Solutions Architect at Pythian. He loves order – making him a premier Microsoft SQL Server expert. Not only has he programmed and administered SQL Server, but he has also shared his expertise and passion with b...
With 15% of enterprises adopting a hybrid IT strategy, you need to set a plan to integrate hybrid cloud throughout your infrastructure. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Steven Dreher, Director of Solutions Architecture at Green House Data, discussed how to plan for shifting resource requirements, overcome challenges, and implement hybrid IT alongside your existing data center assets. Highlights included anticipating workload, cost and resource calculations, integrating services on both sides...
Big Data engines are powering a lot of service businesses right now. Data is collected from users from wearable technologies, web behaviors, purchase behavior as well as several arbitrary data points we’d never think of. The demand for faster and bigger engines to crunch and serve up the data to services is growing exponentially. You see a LOT of correlation between “Cloud” and “Big Data” but on Big Data and “Hybrid,” where hybrid hosting is the sanest approach to the Big Data Infrastructure pro...
"We are a well-established player in the application life cycle management market and we also have a very strong version control product," stated Flint Brenton, CEO of CollabNet,, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
We all know the latest numbers: Gartner, Inc. forecasts that 6.4 billion connected things will be in use worldwide in 2016, up 30 percent from last year, and will reach 20.8 billion by 2020. We're rapidly approaching a data production of 40 zettabytes a day – more than we can every physically store, and exabytes and yottabytes are just around the corner. For many that’s a good sign, as data has been proven to equal money – IF it’s ingested, integrated, and analyzed fast enough. Without real-ti...
In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Sagi Brody, Chief Technology Officer at Webair Internet Development Inc., and Logan Best, Infrastructure & Network Engineer at Webair, focused on real world deployments of DDoS mitigation strategies in every layer of the network. He gave an overview of methods to prevent these attacks and best practices on how to provide protection in complex cloud platforms. He also outlined what we have found in our experience managing and running thousands of Linux and Unix ...
In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 19th Cloud Expo, Yoseph Reuveni, Director of Software Engineering at Jet.com, will discuss Jet.com's journey into containerizing Microsoft-based technologies like C# and F# into Docker. He will talk about lessons learned and challenges faced, the Mono framework tryout and how they deployed everything into Azure cloud. Yoseph Reuveni is a technology leader with unique experience developing and running high throughput (over 1M tps) distributed systems with extre...
"Operations is sort of the maturation of cloud utilization and the move to the cloud," explained Steve Anderson, Product Manager for BMC’s Cloud Lifecycle Management, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
A critical component of any IoT project is what to do with all the data being generated. This data needs to be captured, processed, structured, and stored in a way to facilitate different kinds of queries. Traditional data warehouse and analytical systems are mature technologies that can be used to handle certain kinds of queries, but they are not always well suited to many problems, particularly when there is a need for real-time insights.
UpGuard has become a member of the Center for Internet Security (CIS), and will continue to help businesses expand visibility into their cyber risk by providing hardening benchmarks to all customers. By incorporating these benchmarks, UpGuard's CSTAR solution builds on its lead in providing the most complete assessment of both internal and external cyber risk. CIS benchmarks are a widely accepted set of hardening guidelines that have been publicly available for years. Numerous solutions exist t...
We're entering the post-smartphone era, where wearable gadgets from watches and fitness bands to glasses and health aids will power the next technological revolution. With mass adoption of wearable devices comes a new data ecosystem that must be protected. Wearables open new pathways that facilitate the tracking, sharing and storing of consumers’ personal health, location and daily activity data. Consumers have some idea of the data these devices capture, but most don’t realize how revealing and...
"Software-defined storage is a big problem in this industry because so many people have different definitions as they see fit to use it," stated Peter McCallum, VP of Datacenter Solutions at FalconStor Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Unless your company can spend a lot of money on new technology, re-engineering your environment and hiring a comprehensive cybersecurity team, you will most likely move to the cloud or seek external service partnerships. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Darren Guccione, CEO of Keeper Security, revealed what you need to know when it comes to encryption in the cloud.
Actian Corporation has announced the latest version of the Actian Vector in Hadoop (VectorH) database, generally available at the end of July. VectorH is based on the same query engine that powers Actian Vector, which recently doubled the TPC-H benchmark record for non-clustered systems at the 3000GB scale factor (see tpc.org/3323). The ability to easily ingest information from different data sources and rapidly develop queries to make better business decisions is becoming increasingly importan...
Using new techniques of information modeling, indexing, and processing, new cloud-based systems can support cloud-based workloads previously not possible for high-throughput insurance, banking, and case-based applications. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, John Newton, CTO, Founder and Chairman of Alfresco, described how to scale cloud-based content management repositories to store, manage, and retrieve billions of documents and related information with fast and linear scalability. He addres...