Smarter Planet: Billions of Sensors Tweeting

Innovation often occurs at the intersection of two points.  In this case, the intersection of Sensors and Twitter.

  • Fact:  There are billions of sensors today.  More and more of them are becoming embedded into our infrastructure, the products we use….and thus our daily lives.
  • Fact:  Twitter is here to stay.  More and more people are finding out that Twitter is more than just a consumer tool.  There are potential reasons to use it for productive purposes.

Consider the following early applications:

1) Letting you know the exact moment a Ferry has left or arrived at a dock.

2) Letting you know exactly where a Telescope is pointed now.

3) Letting you know the Temperature or humidity at a certain site:

4) Letting you know when your laundry is done

5) Letting you know when your plant needs watering

6) Letting you how much energy you are using

7) Knowing when a bridge is up or down

8) Keep track of high and low tide

9) Keep a log of your training runs  See this post

10) Letting people know your heart is beeping.  See this post

11) Keep track of your cats

In fact, Andy Stanford-Clarke, Master Inventor at IBM, uses his home to show how sensors can tweet.  (from a blog post titled BBC – Things that tweet)

Do we all understand where this is going?  Billion’s of sensors ‘tweeting’ to the ‘Computing Cloud’ (hopefully not something like (Skynet)where software agents monitor, analyze, and act upon these tweets based on pre-determined preferences.  The tweets are saved in a history file for us to review at anytime, so we always know what happened when. 

Just spend a few minutes and imagine how a city-wide sensor network could make that city smarter.  It becomes very similar to our own central nervous system, right?