Why the Internet of Things will always need a human touch

Human beings are inherently sociable. We are driven by interaction, communication and an innate sense of community. Many of our greatest innovations have been about bringing people together; whether physically, in the case of air travel and transport innovations, or remotely in the case of telephone and internet communications.

As such it is interesting to note that one of the hottest technologies on the block right now is being talked about as something that might diminish our role and the value each of us can add to society. That technology is the Internet of Things (IoT), says Brian Kracik, senior director of Product Marketing, Enterprise Communications and Cloud Services, Oracle.

IoT is being heralded in some quarters as ‘the rise of the machines’, the technology that will finally see machines take centre stage as they talk, machine- to-machine, autonomously. From self-driving cars and drone deliveries, to smart home appliances such as fridges, energy metres and even security systems; all of which can operate without human interference, we are already seeing examples.

But for all the talk of an Internet of “Things,” it is critical to remember it must still be about connecting people, to one but also to ways in which we can improve our businesses and our lives.

If IoT implementations lose sight of the need to benefit people their value will be minimal. If people do not trust or value IoT its potential will never be realised. Machine learning will ensure that IoT devices can learn and spot patterns but it will take human guidance to ensure that learning remains relevant and the right insights are looked for in the data.

There will be points where people will want or need to take action, to overrule an automated process or support it through human interaction with customers, friends, colleagues.

One area the Internet of Things is rapidly improving is customer experience. Sensors across supply chains, energy grids and in our cars are spotting problems before they happen and connecting us quickly with a solution. But while a smart car can self-diagnose a problem and book itself in for a service without any human interaction, there needs to be human oversight and it needs to be a process that can be manually overridden at any time.

Similarly the recognition and design of such potential benefits also requires human inspiration. A machine can do those things, but it cannot come up with the initial idea. As the potential of IoT increases, human inspiration will take its uses to new levels.

Retailers are already able to gain a far greater view of their business through the Internet of Things, as smart supply chains give them greater sight of inventory, availability and areas where efficiency can be achieved. But it takes human insights and ideas to turn that information into meaningfully improved customer service, or greater price competitiveness.

Brian Kracik

Human benefits, human needs and human design will be at the heart of every successful IoT implementation and much of the expertise needed to make those happen will come from the communications industry; from knowing how a network can be optimised to best support varying and growing bandwidth requirements of IoT to understanding and being able to identify and analyse the data carried across those networks, from device to device, and how it might be interpreted to help inspire new services and innovations.

IoT will not replace people, it should augment us. It should make us smarter and give us a new stage on which to unleash our creativity on a greater scale. It will reduce manual processes across almost every industry, freeing us to imagine and design its benefits and explore this new world of possibilities we are creating.

The author of this blog is Brian Kracik, senior director of Product Marketing, Enterprise Communications and Cloud Services, Oracle

Comment on this article below or via Twitter: @IoTNow OR @jcIoTnow


MicroEJ launches Managed-C support for safe, secure operation of connected systems

Posted on: December 2, 2022

Boston, United States – MicroEJ, the provider of software containers for IoT and embedded devices, announces support of the Managed-C programming language to reinforce the security and reliability of connected devices. Through software validation process and secure, containerised MicroEJ Virtual Execution Environment (VEE), this support empowers manufacturers to increase the security and reliability of connected systems

Read more

Powerfleet debuts IoT platform that unites people, assets, data to transform business operations

Posted on: December 2, 2022

Woodcliff Lake, United States – Powerfleet, Inc., a global of Internet of Things (IoT) software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions that optimise the performance of mobile assets and resources to unify business operations, announced the launch of Powerfleet Unity, a new fleet intelligence platform that unites people, assets, and data together to transform the way its customers do business.

Read more

The IoT Adoption Boom – Everything You Need to Know

Posted on: September 28, 2022

In an age when we seem to go through technology boom after technology boom, it’s hard to imagine one sticking out. However, IoT adoption, or the Internet of Things adoption, is leading the charge to dominate the next decade’s discussion around business IT. Below, we’ll discuss the current boom, what’s driving it, where it’s going,

Read more

9 IoT applications that will change everything

Posted on: September 1, 2021

Whether you are a future-minded CEO, tech-driven CEO or IT leader, you’ve come across the term IoT before. It’s often used alongside superlatives regarding how it will revolutionize the way you work, play, and live. But is it just another buzzword, or is it the as-promised technological holy grail? The truth is that Internet of

Read more

Which IoT Platform 2021? IoT Now Enterprise Buyers’ Guide

Posted on: August 30, 2021

There are several different parts in a complete IoT solution, all of which must work together to get the result needed, write IoT Now Enterprise Buyers’ Guide – Which IoT Platform 2021? authors Robin Duke-Woolley, the CEO and Bill Ingle, a senior analyst, at Beecham Research. Figure 1 shows these parts and, although not all

Read more

CAT-M1 vs NB-IoT – examining the real differences

Posted on: June 21, 2021

As industry players look to provide the next generation of IoT connectivity, two different standards have emerged under release 13 of 3GPP – CAT-M1 and NB-IoT.

Read more

IoT and home automation: What does the future hold?

Posted on: June 10, 2020

Once a dream, home automation using iot is slowly but steadily becoming a part of daily lives around the world. In fact, it is believed that the global market for smart home automation will reach $40 billion by 2020.

Read more

5 challenges still facing the Internet of Things

Posted on: June 3, 2020

The Internet of Things (IoT) has quickly become a huge part of how people live, communicate and do business. All around the world, web-enabled devices are turning our world into a more switched-on place to live.

Read more

What is IoT?

Posted on: July 7, 2019

What is IoT Data as a new oil IoT connectivity What is IoT video So what’s IoT? The phrase ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) is officially everywhere. It constantly shows up in my Google news feed, the weekend tech supplements are waxing lyrical about it and the volume of marketing emails I receive advertising ‘smart, connected

Read more