By: Scott Schwalbe, NimbeLink
The genius of the Internet was, and still is, the linkage of people and their accumulated data into one universally accessible, global knowledge base. Ideas that previously might never have intersected can now come together, generating new concepts and directions for innovation and producing the whirlwind pace of change we now take for granted. The underlying information was always there, but separated into silos it was unable to generate the next generation of ideas unless and until the individual ideas were disseminated either through traditional means in print or at conferences or simply spread by accident. For good reason, the Internet became the medium of choice for instant transmission of all sorts of information, from stupid pet and human tricks to life-changing technology.
Today a similar transition is taking place for machine generated data, more-or-less independent of human intervention. M2M, the technology underlying the emerging Internet of Things, allows systems to independently collect data and transmit it to other systems, to databases, and to human recipients. The data typically travels along human-defined pathways, but much of the decision making about what to send and when to transmit is entrusted to the systems themselves. The result is systems that can make decisions based not just on local input but on input from a far-flung network of sites and sources. This networking can operate on virtually any scale from systems in a home to those scattered around the globe, and the result, regardless of scale, is smarter, faster, more economical operations.