Not just smart: seamless.
Interoperability. It’s the ability for technologies to communicate efficiently, sharing information back and forth. This is a term used in healthcare, but it also perfectly describes the Internet of Things (IoT). And smart buildings. Combined. And what’s the sum of that? Connected infrastructures.
Think about it. A building where your refrigerator reminds you to buy milk, and your doorway notifies your thermostat to increase the temperature. A city where it’s possible to always know where to park your car, or where you can send and receive real-time, local emergency alerts.
It’s Star Wars. Back to the Future. The Fifth Element. Wall-E. A place we saw in a movie and dreamed about. And now, it’s coming to fruition. Maybe there aren’t flying cars in the near future (or are there), but the rest — public Wi-Fi, robots, talking appliances — are popping up around the world.
Now, hopefully we don’t start a dystopia, so what does seamless living look like realistically? And what’s required for it to be fully realized?
The look of a seamless world
It sounds a little scary at first. So, my home gives the bus data, and the bus talks to my work? Are they all sharing my private information? How much does each piece of technology know about me? How could that be used?
There are a lot of questions about perfectly seamless living. Realistic concerns. A connected world only exists if data is shared. And that will always be tricky. But, that’s why there are so many working on ways to create safe, protected interactions that allow technology to share the necessary data without giving unwanted eyes access. But, the data is the key. We have to be willing to share something in order to get the efficient world we’ve dreamed of.
Another requirement is, of course, public Wi-Fi. Full citywide coverage is necessary for a true, IoT, interconnected city to exist. Seoul in South Korea is already advancing toward fully functional, public Wi-Fi. Their subway system already has full coverage. New York is moving toward this reality as well, creating Wi-Fi hotspots around the city.
The more and more connected our world grows, however, the more important digital literacy will be.
And the benefits
So. Seamless living: a little scary, very cool, and incredibly useful. But, what exactly are the direct benefits?
Let’s start basic: tasks are accomplished in a highly efficient manner. Smooth. Fast. You’re always in the know. And ready to handle anything.
On another note, it becomes even easier to integrate new technology in the future (and much cheaper). Upgrading and scaling costs are reduced dramatically. Costs to operate and even install drop.
Job creation. As technology use and dependence increases, we’ll need new leaders and more hands on deck.
A seamless world. Smart cities. Information always available. Data that’s always relevant. It’s progress. And we’re closer to the outcome than we think.
Are we ready for it?