Explaining IoT to your Parents

Posted by Julius Patzelt on 8/10/17 11:54 AM


After my fourth job interview at Geeny and finally clinching that coveted position, it suddenly dawned upon me that the even bigger challenge still laid ahead of me. I was sitting at the dinner table with my parents when they asked me what exactly it is that I’m going to be doing at work. 

I quickly realized that the evening had become more of a fifth interview than a relaxed dinner with hearty homemade food and a nice glass of wine. The big question confronted me head-on: how do I actually explain IoT to my parents? 


Well, let’s start with some simpler examples 

Imagine that your oven automatically turns itself off whenever you step out of your front door: you’d never have to worry about burning the house down while on vacation. Or imagine that you just started ski lessons except that your skis become your personal coach and tell you what you can improve on. And now imagine that your beloved dog wears a collar that tells you how active he has been, and which helps you locate him if he were to accidentally wander away. 

All these examples have one thing in common: everyday objects, also known as things, are connected to the Internet and hence make up the ‘Internet of Things’ - or the IoT in short. This allows all connected objects to ‘talk’ to us and to each other. The communication between humans and things as well as between things and things makes our everyday life just that much simpler, providing us with experiences tailored to our needs. 


Ready for some technical details? 

Now that we all understand the basic concepts behind IoT, it’s time to get into some slightly more technical details. First off, what kind of information can our everyday objects ‘talk’ about? Well, that depends on what kind of technical components are embedded into each thing to make it smart. Sensors can measure just about everything from air quality to motion and thereby collect a great deal of information about their environment. Second of all, how can the collected information be exchanged? 

According to predictions by research company Gartner, there will be more than 20 billion IoT devices globally in use by 2020. This spells out a huge amount of data which will require processing and storage. Unlike a few years ago, data is no longer stored on local hard drives or servers. Rather, data is transferred via the Internet to a remote system which is commonly known as the cloud. Once data is stored in the cloud, you can access it from literally wherever you may be - all you need is an Internet connection. 


For the skeptics out there...  

Telling our parents that their data is stored somewhere in the cloud would usually make them just a little worried... They’d understandably be concerned that their data might be used by the wrong people for the wrong reasons, and that’s precisely why Geeny is transferring data ownership to consumers. Every user can decide whether or not they want to share their fitness data with friends, with doctors, or with research institutions (for some good karma). Every Geeny user thus has control over their own private data-lake where all IoT data is stored in one convenient location. It can be accessed and managed only through a secure consumer account. 


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Alright, understood. But do we really need another IoT platform?

In short, yes (!), because Geeny is different. Geeny is an open IoT ecosystem and not just a basic IoT platform. It all starts with smart things that we call ‘elements’ in our ecosystem. The data retrieved from these elements is connected to Geeny. For most other platforms, this is where their value story ends. For us, this step is just the beginning. With the help of the consumer account, every user can mix and share their data with Geeny formulas. Formulas are applications or services that utilize the data generated and provided by the elements. While sharing the data with various formulas, the consumer can create the greatest value - or perhaps even make the most money - from their data.

To make the mix-and-match process convenient for consumers, we offer the Geeny Lab. In this open marketplace, Geeny users can discover the perfect match between their elements and available formulas, or simply discover the infinite opportunities that the Internet of Things has to offer. 


Well, would you want me to explain IoT to you or your parents now

Easy - just get in touch below!


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Topics : How-to's

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