My favorite "connected" devices at the Internet of Things World Forum - Dubai

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I had the pleasure of attending the Internet of Things World Forum  (#IoTWF2015) last week in Dubai.   I was amazed with how digitally “connected” the future is going to be.  Cisco projects there will be 50 Billion connected devices by 2020 and Cisco predicts this to be a $14.4 trillion.  

Just a few years ago, the Internet of Things industry was about wearable devices, but that has now changed to embedded devices.  At the IoT World Forum I was introduced to technologies like connect police cars (Porsche Panamera) that are equipped with wifi and body sensors that are worn by the driver.  The connected data is sent back to a Police control center that helps the Police be more efficient and safe.  In addition, I was introduced to “connected” cranes from Caterpillar which come equipped with hundred of sensors that send terabytes of data to monitoring facilities.  All this data helps construction sites be better managed and more successful while increasing the profit margin of a project.

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 What I found most fascinating was the marvels at Dubai’s Smart City located at the Dubai Design Center. This Smart City has connectivity everywhere; connected parking, connected waste management, connected street lights, and connected bus stops to name a few. By far the coolest connected item I saw in the Dubai Design District was the command and control center.  The place was something out of Tom Cruise's Minority Report due to its massive computer screen that was controlled by hand gestures.  A user can look into different areas of the Smart City buildings by simply swiping their hand in front of the screen. The technology will data points including a 3D building map with the ability to look into a specific unit to discover the temperature, power usage, lights, and other vital information.

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Overall, the Internet of Things industry is still young, but the impact it will have on our lives will be huge.  Experts believe that the benefits all add up to positively increase the quality of our lives.  Truthfully, I am not sure that I want my every move to be monitored.  The entire "Smart City" experience reminded me of book The Circle by David Eggers. Will we go to “full transparency”?  I may rather live on a Caye off the coast of Belize where I can not be monitored.

Nathan Chandra