Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Your Toaster Is Watching You (Again!): McKinsey's "Internet of Things" Report

Here’s an interesting piece you might want to take a gander at, from McKinsey & Company and titled “The Internet of Things.”

While embedded sensors in physical objects is not exactly a new topic, this is a nice synopsis from the consulting giant on what will be the next great pile of data after people everywhere are done updating Foursquare to identify the bar where they’re “The Mayor” (why, oh, why, dear Lord?).

McKinsey, which likes to organize stuff, identified six different categories about the Internet of Things:

Tracking behavior: Monitoring the behavior of persons, things, or data through space and time, enabling such applications as presence-based advertising, and improved supply chain management

Enhanced situational awareness: Achieving real-time awareness of the physical environment, enabling applications such as logistics fleet optimization through better weather awareness or improved physical security through fusing data from many sensors

Sensor-driven decision analytics: Assisting human decision-making through deep analysis and data visualization, enabling better decisions to be made in medical diagnoses from continuous patient monitoring, or improved oil-and-gas exploration

Process optimization: Automated control of self-contained systems such as manufacturing lines

Optimized resource consumption: Control of consumption of scarce resources such as energy or water, e.g., through the application of smart grids and smart meters

Complex autonomous systems: Automated control in open environments with great uncertainty, such as collision avoidance systems in automobiles or autonomous robots being used to clean up hazardous waste sites

But you can read the fine print too, as I have embedded the whole report below:

mckinsey_internet of things

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work