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Inference and Context. Getting More Sense From Your Sensors

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, November 19, 2014



“Big Data” is a term you are hearing a lot these days.  Often the words sound like hype, but other times they are clear and contextual.   Usually hype is based on a good metaphor that is instantly visual to the general public.  As a friend at Google says, “the cloud is just the Internet plus a service.”  When it comes to IoT for the Enterprise, the latest concept is Fog Computing.  Fog is not an acronym.  It is a metaphor for bringing the cloud back to the edge. 


Embedded in the discussion about Fog Computing is the discussion of streaming distributed databases that store IoT information as close to the edge as appropriate.  These dynamic databases are being used to enable predictive solutions and are merged with other data sources.  In effect, this is the point where all sensor driven data is being used for business intelligence.


While the sensors give the factual information, often the use of big data is aimed at answering the question “Why?” These other data sources are adding the context to the information received from the sensors.   As the additional sources keep adding context, the company starts to infer from this data.  I have spoken with several thought leaders in the industry and many have indicated that they have gathered additional, useful information from the network around the sensors.  The inferences then lead to new requirements that impact the sensors.


We should expect the sensor’s capabilities to expand as a result of the inferences made from big data.  Another aspect is that we should expect that the information from the sensors will be used by more systems.  As businesses use the Internet to outsource to the cloud and manage internally, sensor security will become a challenge.


In the end, the functions designed must be considered dynamic and developing for the future has to include an ability to upgrade.


Discussing the future of sensors will be discussed at M2M Evolution http://www.m2mevolution.com, January 27-30 in Miami, Florida. All MEMS community will receive a 20% discount when they register here. For additional information about the event, contact Joann Varello at Joann@crossfiremedia.com

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