Are Data & Metrics Good for IoT and Wearables?

Kevin Parmenter, Field Applications Engineer, Taiwan Semiconductor



There are now more things online than people.  How much water does an individual appliance or shower use? Why was the water bill so high? Home water usage used to be just whatever the water company main meter says it is.  I just saw a promotion for a smart IoT enabled point of use real-time water meter.  This is a connected smart home IoT device that learns and reports your water usage habits and provides helpful advice. It also catches those elusive leaks in toilet valves etc.  There are similar devices for your electric service. 

Now everything including your car, everything you own use or wear can have an IP address and or wireless connection to feed big data back to a server. 

This is driving advancements in miniaturization of packages, batteries technology that can last decades, wireless charging, semiconductor devices which consume less energy than ever before so they can run from almost nothing and energy harvesting technology to scavenge energy to power devices. 

The business opportunity is of course monitoring trends, monitoring you and getting more data on you that can be sold i.e. monetizing you and your behavior.  The question, who owns the data – your data?  Wearables including smart watches, smart clothing and just another name for wearable IoT devices of all sorts – the goal is the same, give the end user benefit and monitor and monetize you and your info what do we do with all the data collected on stuff and us?  

In a recent Harvard Business Review article titled, “Don’t Let Metrics Undermine Your Business”.

Here are the high priests of metrics on top of analytics fed to SAP, Oracle and Microsoft. 

Aren’t these the same guys whose disciples made everyone in the organization stop what they were doing and collect measure and analyze data while every other activity a customer could notice was less important? 

“If we can’t measure it, we can’t manage it?”  Wait, how did we run multibillion-dollar successful companies before this all existed? The article makes some good points yet I can’t help but think that Harvard might be a bit like the firefighter that sets the fire so they can be heroes to put it out. 

Never enough data –metrics. If we have all the data, why not let computers make the decision for free or maybe we can just talk to the customers? 

So, speaking of common sense, and my overall point is just because I can give my toaster an IP address and command it verbally with my Google or Alexa echo connected device, should I? 

Do we have the wisdom of what to do with all the data generated and what about rural areas with limited or no Internet connections? How will all this data be use and mis-used and hacked?  What if the wearable products violate HIPAA rules on data security on your health.  Data, data and metrics everywhere and not a drop to drink.  The technology and capabilities astounding however, maybe a return to common sense might be in order.  How about a course on that?  Can we find anyone left to teach it?