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An introduction to Phase 4 EXTEND – Provide enhanced Digital Services & Content
Hold this against me if you want but I’m a Liverpool fan, a Red, a Koppite an ‘Anny Roader’ whatever you want to call me, that’s just the way it is, it’ll never change and having lived through 24 years without a league win I reckon I can live through anything at this stage and still remain loyal. So you might ask what has this got to do with IOT, and if you’re not a soccer fan you might even ask, who the hell are Liverpool, isn’t that were the Beatles were from ? It was a couple of weeks ago however, while re-watching Anfield’s famous Centenary Stand watching my team claw their way to a 2:1 win over Sunderland that I first saw the 4th and final stage of IOT in all its glory or at the very least a precursor to it.
48 minutes into the game that night striker Daniel Sturridge scored what would turn out to be the match winning goal with a neat right footed flick into the top of the net that set the stadium alight. From where I was sitting however, it looked like one of the 6 or 7 red blobs that were in and around the Sunderland goal managed to deflect a small white blob into the net. You see, old age and unfortunate seat selection on this occasion meant I was about as far away from young Daniel when he scored as it was possible to be in this wonderful stadium, that due to certain architectural issues mainly related to the fact that it was first built in 1884, does not have a big screen. So I saw very little of the action that had me and 45,000 other red shirted fans screaming our heads off.
Once we calmed down however, the usual questions rang out, what happened ? who scored ? was it Suarez ?? No problem said the chap in front of me, lets have a look. With that he took his phone from his pocket where he was live streaming the game and everyone huddled around to watch the action replay and marvel at the skill and speed of the man who was now standing a lot closer to us waiting for the game to resume. Bloody technology, some of you might say, ruining the atmosphere, interfering with the spectacle that was unfolding in front of you others might suggest. The reality however was that it was absolutely brilliant. Everyone around us bent in, all wanting to see the goal, we all commented on its brilliance and for that couple of seconds we had the best of both worlds, the live atmosphere of the game along with all the action replays and interesting camera angles that modern TV could offer us. This in its own little way my friends was IOT Phase 4 in action, this was taking the live experience of being in the stadium and complimenting it with ‘Enhanced Digital Services & Content’ and using technology to make it a better experience for the fans.
OK so in this case it wasn’t the stadium providing the content it was the TV provider but the concept is the same and realistically it’s only a matter of time before this type of ‘multi format integration’ will become part of the match day package. Live streamed multi-angle replays, real-time player stats, social media integration even in match refreshment ordering are all on their way to a stadium near you and beyond in the very near future.
Sports stadiums aren’t the only places that we’ll see Phase 4 though, the recent furore over the Nest ‘bug’ that in certain rare situations could have lead to your smoke alarm not alerting you to a potential fire is a prime example of how providing enhanced content will be a key driver of IOT. In the past a fault like this would have led to an immediate and very expensive product recall that would have been both a logistical nightmare for Nest and also a PR disaster. In this case however they merely shut down the service temporarily while they repaired the bug and pushed out an update and will ultimately carry out a gradual re-introduction when the smoke has blown over, if you’ll pardon the pun.
Beyond this, enhanced content will be used in areas as diverse as Automated Vehicles, Smart Street Furniture, Connected Shopping Trolleys and everything in between. It will integrate with social media and become part of our virtual lives and it will mean more and more data will be collected from us, about us and around us. It will enhance our engagements with almost every device on the planet and it will create a security nightmare that we may never truly get under control, but that’s something for a whole other blog series 😉
So now as we come to the end of our blog series on the 4 Phases of IOT its time to stop and ask ourselves what we’ve learned. It could be that IOT isn’t something for the future, its here now and ready to take over our lives, or maybe that our regulators and law makers need to get their act together and start supporting these life changing breakthroughs rather than slowing them down. It could also be that visionaries like Elon Musk, Larry Page and Jeff Bezos are the battering rams that will ultimately drive IOT over the line or maybe just that my idea of a weekly blog is a slightly more flexible concept than the Gregorian calendar would suggest but hopefully we’ve all learned something and hopefully, hopefully Liverpool will win the league next year, just like I’ve hoped every year since 1990.
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