Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Internet of Learning Things

The Internet of Things (wikipedia page) has been a concept in existence for over a decade.  You may be hearing about it for the first time here, or you recently read about it somewhere else.  And the reason why is because it's finally becoming much more real.  Many of the gadgets being created using wifi, bluetooth, and bluetooth smart, are still only being embraced by the alpha geeks, but that is about to change.

The Internet of Things is all about connectivity, mobility, and the sharing of data.  WiFi and Bluetooth technology provide the connectivity.  Many of the "things" themselves are small enough to be moved around a home, office, or business while remaining "connected".  And our mobile smart phones provide the interface by which we communicate with the things, view the data they collect, and share it with other people or professionals that can better interpret the data and make decisions.

One company that seems to be leading in the marketing of connected things is WiThings.  The company defines itself this way...
"Withings is a leading force in the personal healthcare revolution. It designs, develops, and industrializes health and wellness connected devices that help families across the world take better charge of their health...
Withings is a major player in the Internet of Things. The company’s increases the capabilities of an object by the addition of network resources that allows access to infinite calculation and storage capacities without increasing costs. The object’s interfaces are also ported to devices such as mobile phones or computers, to benefit from their resources and capabilities."
In my mind, what's not far off is The Internet of Learning Things. I would actually consider these medical devices to be Learning Things as they provide us with the data we need to learn more about ourselves.  As more and more "things" become connected we can begin to make connections between the different data points collected.  Imagine combing the data from your Wifi Body Scale, Heart Rate monitor, and Nike+ all into one app.  You can see how powerful this is going to be.  After all, your bodyweight alone is only one measurement, or data point, in the bigger picture of one's health and wellness.

So, how can the Internet of Things begin to monitor and help us manage our learning?  I have some ideas but I'd love to hear yours.   
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