Although we have been hearing about the so-called Internet of Things (IoT) for over ten years, it is becoming clear that we now see this technology quickly gaining mainstream adoption. In fact, the internet of things, or as we prefer to call it, just ‘Things’, is the fifth technology element that makes a new form of Empathic Computing possible. Combined with Social software, Mobile apps, advanced Analytics and Cloud services, the internet of Things (SMACT) creates a kind of ambient intelligence that is quietly serving any information need whenever required. By constantly monitoring our behavior, the system is establishing a deep understanding about our intent, the task we are trying to perform. Wearable technology in all kinds of form factors on, in (intelligent tattoo’s) or even under our skins (swallobles) gives new meaning to the phrase ‘always-on’. Cognitive systems step-by-step build a better understanding of our context and are able to predict and anticipate our needs. We will learn to trust these intelligent assistants and award them more and more agency to take over mundane tasks on our behalf, so we can focus on more important things in life.
An interesting although early example is that of GlowCap. David Rose’s start-up company Vitality realized a couple of years ago that by adding a sensor and communication to a simple jar of pills a big problem in healthcare, poor adherence to prescribed medication schedules, could be solved. The GlowCap bottle actually registers when it is opened and compares this event to the prescribed schedule. If people forget taking their medication, they are subtly notified by a flashing light. If they still do not react additional notifications or even a message to a healthcare provider or anyone in the ‘social’ network can be sent. [Read more...]