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The Device Mesh and the New Age of Connections

Welcome to the new age of connectivity. Since the introduction of the internet in the mid-1990s and the smartphone (Apple IPhone) in June 2007, acquiring information through websites and Apps was just the beginning. Now we use a multitude of devices, such as multi-branded smartphones, tablets and now smartwatches that allow us to be connected even further. We have more connections with people from all over the world, through social media, and more information at our fingertips. Add the influx of wearable technological devices, such as Fitbit and smartwatches, to measure our health and fitness habits to the way we can connect these devices to our cars, appliances, and ourselves. The world is increasingly part of a “device mesh”, where according to Analyst company Gartner, it is one of the technology trends for 2016.

THE DEVICE MESH

Gartner calls it the “device mesh” where an active network of all devices operates in conjunction with each other in a shifting set of endpoints. It used to be just turning on a smartphone or tablet, downloading an app, and interacting with it. However, now, the experience is sensory. As we are now more mobile, there is an ecosystem of connected devices. According to Gartner, we have reached the seven billion number.

Our professional and personal lives are now increasingly meshed together, which has the potential to impact people, governments, social communities and businesses. As the “device mesh” evolves, so does the web of wearable and mobile devices that people use to find information or to communicate in an algorithmic and smart machine world. It is how we use and interact with the connected devices that will change how companies do business and how we communicate. Gartner calls the increase of sensors as part of the Internet of all Things. These devices are smarter as they gather more data, think the accelerometer in your smartphone or the sleep sensor in your Fitbit. These sensors, through the devices, will allow us to understand our behavioural patterns and give us insights into how we live and work, while on the move.

MOBILITY INTO PRACTICE

We currently do so much with our devices, such as watching television programs, movies, listening to music, reading media and books, and of course, connecting with social media. Social media networks are becoming an acceptable tool in our professional lives to reach out to relevant people. It also connects our personal friends with our professional colleagues. Social media, such as Facebook, gives us the insights into our behavioural patterns. Targeted advertising and information, such as one’s Fitbit information to their Facebook feed, via the smartphone, is how devices can mesh together.

THE ARCHITECTURE OF DEVICE MESH

Some organisations are already making great leaps further into the digital age and making our lives that much easier. In real-time, we know through Apps and GPS sensors on our devices, where the next bus is, or when it is to arrive. Same now with pizza delivery. There have been some retail shifts of late too, where connected devices have the potential to transform the retail shopping experience. Some consumers have bought fashion directly from a runway show through QR tagging on their smartphone and have completed the transaction via the multi-channel integration. Some Smart TV’s in the US and Europe allow viewers to purchase clothes from the current TV show they may be watching, and transact in one sitting. Quick and effortless.

However as new technology emerges, the user will be surrounded by a mesh of devices that will go beyond the current form of mobile devices. These include sensory wearable devices which people and business will use to reach and interact with others, such as home electronics, automotive, environmental and consumer. It’s merging the physical world with augmented reality, where information in the form of text, graphics, audio and other virtual enhancements integrated with real-world objects. From your smart refrigerator to perhaps a wireless-capped pill bottle to an Internet-connected car, the world is part of a “device mesh”.

DEVICE MESH – THE DAILY ROUTINE

Times are changing. What we are currently using with all our devices has changed our daily routine. We now don’t have to go to the video store; we have Netflix. We can pay a restaurant bill through an App on the smartphone. We can turn our home heating on via the smartphone before we arrive. We can talk via Skype to our loved ones and our work colleagues and counterparts from the other side of the word, all through our devices.

Health and wearable fitness devices have changed our daily routine and given us insights into how active we are. It’s now not just measuring the steps or how your heart rate is, but it knows your sleep/wake patterns. The device is linked, not just with your smartphone and social media as mentioned, but through the TV. Soon, it may know what food you have purchased from the Supermarket, or which brands and products from retail shops, and target advertising direct to your Smart TV. You then can buy directly via the mesh of devices.

Businesses and Corporations can improve our daily routines through location based understanding. Our devices are collecting data on everything we do, whether in our professional lives and personal. It’s interweaving. The GPS and mobile towers gather information on where we go to lunch, which gyms we go to, and where we work. Based on this data, digital ads can be sent to us via the devices, which are relevant to our behaviour.

When products embedded with senses, companies can track the movements of these products. They can also interact with them. Connected cars are sensory, where information is collected and stored to show how far the car has traveled, who was driving, and where they were travelling. Companies and businesses further know our movements.

THE FUTURE IS HERE

There are many new possibilities to our daily routine. It will change ever more when the Apps and Sensors become, as Gartner calls it, largely invisible to consumers, to eliminate the need to interact physically with the devices. The Device Mesh is dynamic and pervasive, whether it be on the work desk, with the person, or in the environment, we are now all connected to the world and its augmented reality. Anything is now possible.

We can help you provisioning your network to cope with the demands of extra devices. Have a chat to the team about it.