Whenever we hear about the Internet of Things it’s always the same- a grand future of connected devices that will allow you to manage your business and personal life with more convenience and efficiency than ever before.

But in all the grandiose promises we see something missing, something that no one’s really talking about- with all of the data the Internet of Things is supposed to generate, how are we going to consume it?

Are we going to visualize the real-time, streaming information from hundreds of devices in pie charts on our phones? Will we all be staring at rows and columns of data trying to discover how we can best cut down our electric bills? Will the data be aggregated, or will it live in silos?

The Internet of Things is coming, and it’s time we thought about what we’re going to do with it.

What is the Internet of Things, anyway?

Before we talk about what we’re going to do with the Internet of Things we should agree on what it means first. According to a recent article in the International Journal of Communications, the Internet of things “refers to the networked interconnection of of everyday objects, which are often equipped with ubiquitous intelligence. IoT will increase the ubiquity of the Internet by integrating every object for interaction via embedded systems, which leads to a highly distributed network of devices communicating with human beings as well as other devices.”

That’s what it is, in the simplest of terms. Devices are embedded with radio frequency identifiers and stream data to other devices and to us.

That leaves us with a question- “so what?” So we’ve gathered data from hundreds of devices, what are we going to do with it?

The dream is to use that data to improve life. But how is that done, and who is going to do it?

The authors of the article say “Thanks to rapid advances in underlying technologies, IoT is opening tremendous opportunities for a large number of novel applications that promise to improve the quality of our lives.”

Bingo. That’s where VisualCue fits into the Internet of Things- a novel application that, through our intuitive data visualizations, will allow you to use all that generated data to improve the quality of your life. That’s why we’re happy to be one of those technologies at the forefront of presenting machine-generated data in a transparent, easily-understandable way.

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Now, how do we go about doing that, exactly? We’ve already developed the technology necessary to translate data into iconic pictures for immediate, transparent consumption but it goes deeper than that.

The underlying feature of the Internet of Things is that not only is it based on ubiquitous computing with hundreds of devices generating data, but that data is gathered in a single source where it can be analyzed. That’s the part of the process that excites us, though it’s not talked about too often.

We’re not alone in thinking this way. In a recent interview for Hands on TV, Chamath Palihapitiya, technologist and venture capitalist, talked about the future of the Internet of Things and brought up a great point.

In that interview, the interviewer asks Palihapitiya how we (as a world) would go from data silos with various systems gathering data into a single, integrated application and Palihapitiya responds “I think the way that it’s probably going to work is that a handful of companies who are leading the way basically say ‘here’s the way this is all going to get published, and we’re going to start first.'”

We are proud to be part of that wave. VisualCue gathers disparate data sources and publishes the information from those sources in real-time by tying data points to iconic pictures which dynamically change color based on user-defined thresholds so you can use the data your IoT is generating without having a background in data science. We believe that’s the way to make IoT accessible and useful, and is the future of big data visualization.

Now we realize that we might be jumping the gun here- the Internet of Things is growing with the advent of smart homes and connected vehicles, but we aren’t at the critical point where every device is connected. But we’re thinking ahead on purpose.

Palihapitiya recognizes that “in v1 of everything people think the data is valuable, and I think in v2 and beyond people realize the interpretation of the data is actually valuable.”

Here at VisualCue we’re always looking to the future, beyond Internet of Things version 1, where huge amounts of data are collected and into Internet of Things version 2, where the interpretation of that data is powered by sight.

Until next time,

The VisualCrew