Airstream by Ralph Goings (1970)

How to Build a Useful Augmented Reality Application

By | AR/VR, Internet of Things, Service, Service Lifecycle Management (SLM), Service Technology | 2 Comments

Gauging Value in AR Service Applications

You know I have been very vocal in criticizing augmented reality (AR) applications that, in my opinion, demonstrated too little business value.  You have heard (or read) me referring these as righty-tighty lefty-loosey systems.

From time to time, clients and attendees of my public lectures challenge me for guidelines to help them gauge the potential business value of AR applications. If a simple air filter replacement procedure isn’t useful, then what is? Read More

Oberon, Titania and Puck with Fairies Dancing circa 1786 William Blake

The IoT Fairy

By | Internet of Things | 2 Comments

Every time you describe a frivolous Internet of Things (IoT) technology use case, a fairy dies…

Here is one.

Samsung’s smart refrigerator boasts three embedded video cameras to keep an eye on what’s in the fridge, which you can view through a smartphone app or the 21” touchscreen built into the fridge’s door.

The fridge’s software is designed to help monitor spoilage and remind you when an item has been lying around long enough to spoil. If your last carton of milk is going bad, you can even order fresh milk directly from the touch screen using the Groceries by MasterCard app.

You can get that smart fridge at your nearest BestBuy for the modest price of $4,000 (a great deal, considering a MSRP of $6,000). Just make sure you have the most recent software installed. Lat year researchers uncovered a security flaw in a Samsung smart fridge that could compromise a user’s Gmail credentials

This “use case,” like endless number of equally fanciful scenarios, gets a barely passing grade of “cute.” Read More

M.C. Escher and the crystal ball used for his self portrait (1935)

The Investor’s Guide to Predictive Maintenance Technology

By | Internet of Things | 5 Comments

A few weeks ago, I met with an investor to offer an assessment and guidance concerning a potential investment in a software company developing a predictive maintenance software: a system designed to use sensor data to assess the condition of a piece of equipment, detect an impending failure, and prescribe a remedial action.

As is often the case, there was a profound difference between the ideal world as described by the technologists and the harsh reality of equipment maintenance as experienced by field-service personnel.

Writing the Complete Guide to Predictive Maintenance Technology is obviously a grand goal for a short blog post. But now that I have got your attention, I’d like to focus on just one aspect: while diagnostic algorithms can be extremely powerful, implementing an application that can tackle complex, real-world maintenance problems requires much more than the ability to detect an anomaly in a time-series data stream. Read More

Sarolta Bán

IoT Security Through Obscurity?

By | Internet of Things, IT Strategy | One Comment

A recent Dassault Systèmes blog What’s next in the Internet of Things?  discusses the company’s view of the IoT and, of course, addresses the lingering concerns about the potential security risks in IoT-connected devices and the threats of hacking and infiltrating public IoT networks.

The article offers the following comment from Krisztián Flautner of ARM: “In theory, IoT devices are quite attackable because the security on them is often not very good. But, at the same time, you also have to know a lot about those devices and how they’re configured. To me, I’m not actually sure if the [hacking] threat goes up or down.”

I find this attitude a bit cavalier. Read More

The Moneylender and His Wife (Quentin Metsys, 1514)

Monetizing IoT: Show Me the Money!

By | Internet of Things, IT Strategy | 4 Comments

Seeking Funding for an Internet of Things Project?

“Too expensive”; “Very long time to a positive cash flow”; “We do not consider any project with ROI time longer than 18 months”.  These are some of the typical responses and pushbacks early adopters of Industrial Internet of Things (IoT) technology often encounter when they seek funding from corporate management.

Indeed, almost every market study of IoT adoption ranks concerns about rosy, yet unconvincing return on investment (ROI) as one of the top hurdles to enterprise-wide adoption of IoT.

Admittedly, many green-field IoT projects require significant investments over an extended period of time: designing new products, creating a network infrastructure, and establishing new business and customer relationships models. Although falling hardware prices, availability of cloud-based IoT services, and a growing number of IoT platforms make plunging into the IoT water easier, more economical and less risky, for many, long-term ROI remains elusive.

But should the Industrial Internet of Things be considered just yet another IT project, like implementing a new ERP system? Or does an investment in a promising technology and new business constructs warrants a different, more strategic, approach? Read More