Chris O’Conner, IBM’s General Manager for Internet of Things Offerings, has been involved with connected devices for almost 25 years. As a result, he has a unique view on the emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT), what it means for the future, and what we can learn from previous generations of technology.
We sat down with him as he prepared for IoT Slam to hear more and what he plans to talk about at the event.
ReadWrite: So as the General Manager for IoT, what does this mean for IBM?
Chris O’Conner: So for us at IBM it’s been a journey of experimenting with the IoT data, all these connected assets, And the early work that we did around Smart Planet. It proved that it was controlled, but the ability to do it in mass wasn’t quite there yet, and now we move to where we are
- Robots should not be designed as weapons.
- Robots should comply with existing law, including privacy.
- Robots are products; they should be safe, reliable and not misrepresent their capabilities.
- Robots are manufactured artifacts; the illusion of emotions and agency should not be used to exploit vulnerable users.
- It should be possible to find out who is responsible for any robot.
The laws have been adapted from the EPSRC 2010 “Principles of Robotics”. In Britain a few months ago
Twenty years ago I was approached by a vending machine company that wanted to remotely monitor and record the temperature of their vending machine compartments to the nearest tenth of a degree. I understand that no one wants a warm soda, but the data the company wanted to record was more granular than necessary to solve their problem. The vending machine only needed to communicate whether it was above or below the recommended serving temperature of 38℉; measuring to the nearest tenth of a degree was overkill. We encoded the vending machine’s data in a much smaller size, which saved the vending machine company money on data rates while still giving the customer a cold soda.
I share this story to highlight a question decision makers for industrial, civic, and commercial Internet of Things (IoT) should be asking themselves: is it worth paying to collect and transmit data that is
Wouldn’t life be so much easier if you didn’t have to lock the front door of your business when you went home at night? You’d never have to worry about losing your keys. Or, maybe the property owner could hang onto your keys for you. You would then rely on the building manager to unlock the door for you every morning and to lock up again when you leave.
Obviously, both scenarios are ridiculous and no business would seriously consider either. Yet if that’s true, why do so many businesses allow their IT organizations to operate from day to day without bothering to “lock up” and secure their digital assets, whether they’re housed on premises, or in the cloud?
Make no mistake; the first scenario is exactly what’s happening when IT fails to deploy encryption to protect important