Today, utility, tomorrow fun

Robert Bellwaldius is COO at Maingate, which provides solutions using M2M communication. The text is taken from our publication “Internet of Things”, about how the media industries can benefit from a network of connected things.

Why should a device be connected to the internet, really; what is the purpose and what is driving this trend? Basically, the idea is that if we can get devices to talk directly with each other, we should be able to develop new services that improve our daily lives, create new business, or maybe even raise the entertainment industry to new heights.

Already today, applications are being developed for use in the car, with both utility functions and entertainment features. Homes are getting smarter, particularly from an energy perspective. Televisions are disappearing, to be replaced by the media hub: the computer-games console-TV-radio are merging with the private media collection; photo albums, home movies and music collection are being integrated into one.

But information flows today are by no means connected in a simple manner. Information has to meet somewhere in order to be refined and then generate new intelligent solutions.

Service providers will drive development

Based on developments in recent years, we can conclude that service providers, not communications providers, had the solutions. They did so simply by developing services that are not dependent on communication channels and instead developing services from a user perspective: Skype, Spotify, 100Koll, or any service in a mobile that works as long as there is internet connection.

Already now, it seems like we more or less deliberately allow these “services” to share information. Information from the music service tells Facebook friends what music I play, while the professional networking site receives information from the travel service that I am taking a trip to London. Meanwhile, my energy consumption drops and notifies the contest service along with all the other contest participants that I’m about to win the energy saving contest.

Visions for filmmakers

Consider the filmmaker who can not only display video and audio at home. Add the dimension of smell; clearly there will be a gadget that can generate different types of scents. Obviously, film should be able to automatically generate the right experiences in terms of scents.

Personally, I think film should be experienced in a dark atmosphere; it’s not unreasonable to let the filmmaker take advantage of the opportunity to turn off all the lights in my living room. Or perhaps the cinematic experience should be complemented with light in room, controlled by the film’s storyline. Lightning flashes across the movie screen; why not a weak echo in my environment, too?

A greater film experience. Photo by *mgoulet, CC BY-ND

Of course it could work; “smart” lamps are already available, it just has to be controlled from a movie. Who will be first to provide me with this next generation film experience?