Internet of Things: Fluidity of Purpose

Part of the iHive Incubator Posts Category.

Humans love to communicate. For uncounted millennia humans only communicated with each other through voice or some type of written form. I’m taking the liberty here of leaving out instances when people become frustrated with non-living objects and address those objects (such as Voice-Jail Telephone Menu Systems) in negative manner and tone for refusing to conform to human intent. 🙂

The advent of technology and the insights to make non-living objects properly respond to instructions opened up entire new industries leading us to the modern world of today. Even in the most remote and isolated sections of the world there is modern technology to some level and extent. People want technology, useful technology, when it helps them live or live better.

The dawn of our Internet Age brought about the ability to more easily communicate instructions to an increasing number of devices across the globe in ways our parents and grandparents could hardly imagine. As device interactions became integrated with daily life, new considerations emerged and society pursued the embracing concept for accessing devices whenever we  wanted on-demand and obtain feedback and useful results. The Internet of Things (IoT) is one way to describe that concept. It may only be the first concept of a wider idea.

If society deems it important to have mass access with IoT, then the various processes need to be easy and flexible to use. My perceived vision for mass access with IoT is a Fluidity of Purpose (FoP). I’ll provide a basic definition as follows:

“The Fluidity of Purpose is one where a continuous set of actions is understood and may be set into motion through a common interface between   digital objects. That common interface is one where communications are constructed from simple messages and combined in real-time sequence to produce the expected result. Messages may appear redundant but execute, command, and receive feedback and results dependent on the digital object’s capabilities.”

One example is the topic of this online Supply Chain 24/7 article, 26 Billion Internet of Things Installed Will Alter How the Future Supply Chain Operates. The ability to manage 26 Billion of anything requires considered and deliberated thought. The smooth running of a system that size and complexity needs to be as simple as possible. The right balance of detail and generality may be difficult, but chaos (disaster or insurrection?) is to be avoided at all costs. I quote from that article:

“Gartner believes that a double-digit increase in digital marketing investment will provide supply chain leaders with deeper market insight, as well as fulfillment challenges in industries where more granular market segments are targeted.

Practitioners observe, however that designing connected experiences requires the integration of very different development skill sets and processes.

‘ “First, you need hardware production, which calls for product design and engineering in a linear, often lengthy development cycle. Second, you need digital and software design, which happens in short, modular development loops and requires support from different kinds of designers (for example, specialists in user interaction) and programmers,” ‘ says Gordon Hui, who leads the Business Design & Strategy practice at Smart Design in San Francisco.

FoP is at the heart of that design goal. It is one of probably many additional factors seeking to provide guidance.

I’ll mention, Experience Design and Fluid Computing as two more examples. Both have roles in IoT and FoP. You can probably think of others to include. 🙂

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About Don Larson

Using computer technology since June 1980.
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