Seeing the data, one streetlight at a time
Worldwide, companies are engaged in intense competition to own your streetlights. The light bulbs that empower your public space, that is. That’s because those companies see the inherent value in supplying smart bulbs at a time when we’re fascinated by behavior and its more lucrative side effect: consumption.
Companies like PrecisionHawk, Sensity Systems, Cisco, and others are jumping on the chance to own the lighting, farming and aviation space, brandishing their smart sensors across town and country, gathering data.
(Sensity Systems) There's data about how many cars go down a busy road, how many cars are parked, how quickly new seeds sprout, whether your competitor is growing better vines than you are, etc.
Light bulbs and crop planes may be the means, but data is the real product these companies – and others like them – are selling. Sensity and PrecisionHawk are focusing on Big Data broken down to its component parts: By marketing it to consumers as a competitive tool, both sides can set themselves apart.
By letting you know that your neighbor's seeds are growing faster, PrecisonHawk can partner with a local garden chain and sell you anything from fertilizer to seeds to heavy duty equipment, which can then require more monitoring. For Sensity, partnering with a municipal parking lot operator, it can gauge how many people use the lot, how long the average stay is, and how much s/he should charge. Does an expansion make sense?
As the Internet of Things is projected to grow to at least 26 million units by 2020, 33 million if you add in smartphones and tablets, getting a first-mover advantage on placing sensors for data mining can be key. Though holding on to that advantage will be important as technological advances will no doubt be exponential over the next few years.
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