Why you should ignore the ‘internet of things’

If you hear the phrase ‘internet of things’ – you’re probably listening to someone trying to sell you something. Why is this? Because anyone else – someone you might want to use the data from the ‘things’ – is never going to see the ‘things’ in this way.

Let’s say you are a ship engineer keeping track of your ship’s operations. You can install more sensors, yes. But you’ll only do this if they’ll tell you something you want to know. In which case you’ll probably think of it as the ‘sensor which tells you x’. The same could go for anyone monitoring any industrial facility.

In your house, OK yes you can wire your washing machine and fridge to the internet. You can connect your car to the internet. But unless you’re just doing it for fun, surely you would only do this if it helped you to achieve some purpose so the same logic would apply.

Other examples – farmers monitoring their farms with various sensors, electricity companies monitoring consumption in a more granular way. They are going to think about what they are trying to achieve, not their ‘internet of things’.

Yes, we know, it is getting easier to add sensors and connect them up. The point is what we do with them.

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