Not all that long ago, if you went running, you would use your watch for lap times or to let you know when it was time to call it a day.
Jump forward a few years and your watch can tell you how many steps you have taken and even measure your heart beat. Come forward a little more and all of a sudden you have a GPS-assisted dynamic map, an altimeter, pollution indices and NFC – to pay for your post-run protein shake – all coupled to the newfound ability to share your efforts, route, heartbeat and athletic photos on just about every social media channel you care to mention.
This evolution in personal technology is an almost exact copy of what is happening in the industrial world. Looking at the basics, let’s consider a sensor that simply supplied a “yes” or “no” signal – then sensors became smarter and shared more than just simple on/off data. This data then expanded in volume and evolved into something that could be analysed before being shared with a dashboard so everyone can see what the sensor is seeing.
Collecting data, analysing data and sharing data are the key points here. But this data must be something worth sharing in a format that makes sense to other users.