It’s no secret that we live in a connected world – a world where we enjoy instant worldwide connectivity and access, where machines talk to other machines, making decisions and taking action without the need for human interaction. As technology advances in an accelerating cascade, when searching for a solution to even the most complex business problems, the answer to virtually any question beginning with “Can we?” is almost certainly “Yes.”
As the internet of things (IoT) and machine to machine (M2M) evolution continues, we soon begin to realize that, when it comes to the world of future possibilities and potential, we don’t know what we don’t know. In fact, I have seen that realization in the faces of so many friends and colleagues when they begin to ponder a world where billions of devices are communicating with us and with each other. Whether through the internet of today or a new communications architecture we can only imagine, the connected world of the future offers an infinite opportunity to ponder “What if?”
What if our self-driving electric car could talk to the parking garage and find an available space with a charging station, then park and connect itself? What if a smart vending machine could call in when it needs to be restocked, telling the delivery driver exactly what quantity of each product he will need to bring? What if our home can sense our pending arrival and adjust its environment to my preferences? What if a complete inventory of an entire warehouse can be taken with a single scan?
But that’s not the technology of tomorrow – that’s the technology of today. And as we all become more aware of the capabilities a connected world can provide, we begin to develop solutions that just a few years ago were not even imagined. And that process begins with one question: What if?