In this thoroughly entertaining and informative article, Kyle Maxey describes how engineers’ need for a cold Coke could well lead to the development of a ‘sensor aware planetary computer’. Although that might seem a bit far-fetched at the moment - especially to those of us who remember Skynet and terminators – it seems we are already well set on the path.
What is really striking is the absolutely enormous scope of the ‘internet of things’. As Kyle Maxey eloquently puts it
‘the industrial Internet becomes a fluid machine delivering goods and services and possibly innovation on a perfectly scheduled basis’.
The IoT is no longer viewed as something that will just improve manufacturing efficiency. It will also have a profound affect on product design and the way that people work.
Programmers logging long hours in the labs were frustrated by their long walks to the Coke machine, only to find it empty or, much worse, filled with warm soda. You see, around the halls of CMU, caffeine wasn’t just a substance, it was a driving force. Something needed to be done about these errant trips to the machine. Soon, conversation spun into action. The CMU Coke machine was filled with a number of microswitches and connected to the Internet. And soon, its contents and their temperatures could be found by anyone who could reach the IP address: 126.96.36.199. Although it didn’t seem like much at the time, the moment CMU’s Coke machine came online, the Internet of Things (IoT) was born. Within a generation and a half, IoT would transform into the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)