The device mesh and how it can benefit business

Joe Svetlik

Monday 8 August 2016

What does it mean for your business when smartwatches, the Internet of Things sensors and smart cars all start talking to each other?

We no longer communicate solely through phones and computers. Nowadays almost all devices are connected to the internet – we can transfer information through pretty much anything, including fridges, thermostats, cars and smartwatches, to name but a few. Imagine if all of these communicated not only with the networks they’re connected to, but each other as well. That’s the device mesh. Think of it as a more interconnected version of the Internet of Things (IoT).

Gartner flagged the device mesh as one of the top strategic technology trends for 2016, while we ourselves identified it as one of the major business IT trends forecast for this year.

Car, meet thermostat

Thus far, devices like wearables and those in the IoT have connected to the internet, but usually in isolation. The device mesh lets them share information between themselves, meaning your car can talk to your thermostat, for example, so it’ll know when you’re almost home and heat the house to the correct temperature.

This has huge repercussions for business. IoT sensors are predicted to number 6.4 billion this year, up 30 per cent on 2015. When everything is connected at home, in the office and on your person, an employee is always plugged in and kept up to speed with the latest developments. Business mobility could take on a whole new meaning.

More connectivity, more productivity 

With smartphone projection standards such as Android Auto in our cars, we could dictate emails and notes to a dashboard-based digital assistant. Work emails on our smartwatches could mean never missing a missive, even in an important meeting, and without whipping out our phones and looking distracted. As soon as our smartwatches can start talking to our office thermostats, they’ll be able to rise and lower the temperature based on our body readings, making us more comfortable and hence more productive.

Some of these may seem like science fiction (and admittedly, some of them may be a few years off). But then again, a few years ago, so did many of today’s technologies that we now take for granted. The challenge for business is how to embrace innovations like wearables, the Internet of Things and smart cars, and help them work together in a way that benefits employees.

Get it right, and these devices will be much more than the sum of their parts.

 

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