Evan Kirstel: “IoT has an impact in every area of our lives”
30 Nov 2017 IoT General
Innovation and Internet of Things (IoT) are naturally linked. But which leads and which follows? Does innovation demand the interconnected world or does the Internet of Things leads the way in innovation? The digital transformation seems to be the main scenario of this evolution.
Where is the innovation heading?
What role does the IoT have in our future? Undoubtedly, Internet of Things will change the world as we know it. To better understand the huge IoT developments in which we are immersed and their value, we have consulted Evan Kirstel, an expert and recognized thought leader and social media influencer in IoT. "We should refer to this technology as the Internet of Everything and not just Internet of Things. "We are witnessing the rise of data, connectivity, and devices in every imaginable way. This has profound implications in terms of the breadth of potential products and services, but also concerns about privacy and security", said Kirstel. "This is changing the way we work, the way we live, the way we play, as well as how we practice sports, engage in fitness, and interact with healthcare. IoT has an impact in every area of our lives, without exception. There is always some new and interesting scenario or use case for Internet-connected devices".
So what are the hottest topics in innovation right now? "I think innovations in healthcare are the most remarkable, and it is one of the top interests for consumers right now", explained Kirstel. "When it comes to disease prevention, life saving therapeutics, telemedicine, patient monitoring, health apps, fitness... I think those are the most meaningful and the most important among the huge amount of connected gadgets that we all love". But there is more! Innovation is our best ally for a bright and healthy future. Innovation is the context in which we can include ideas, concepts, devices, discoveries. In Evan Kirstel’s opinion, Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are the big hot topics in Silicon Valley and across the country. "The ever-increasing new applications of what has long been a technology coming out of universities and private research groups, can now be leveraged by Big Data services, autonomous vehicles, healthcare and more", explained the expert. "These are the biggest topics these days". This is the future offered by technologies such as Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence at the service of Internet of Things.
The future is connectivity
"Imagine you wake up and your smart home is connected to the Internet," Kirstel explained when asked about his vision for connectivity. "And, this home is aware and adapted to your needs. And you get in your autonomous car and it takes you to your office, and then you enter in the building where you work, and the temperature is perfectly adjusted. And when you get back home, your television and your stereo, also Internet-connected, are playing what you prefer to suit your mood. And you can track your eating habits and your health-promoting activities, so, literally, IoT has an impact on everything you do in your day". This vision gives a clear example of a reality that is very close. In it, information plays a prominent role and it is at our service.
In this world where connectivity is a daily and ubiquitous occurrence all around us, communication is changing. And social networks are evolving also. In Kirstel's opinion, even these words themselves no longer define correctly what they are. "Social network is, perhaps, an outdated term. I prefer to say it is 'the way humans communicate today'. Social media and social networking are basically synonyms for the ‘Internet of Humans’ - the way we communicate with each other today, both in our personal lives and increasingly, in business. At eViRa Health, we tap into these networks for smart and effective B2B marketing". Internet, social media, the devices that make life more comfortable, healthier and better... those are different aspects of the same human need: connectivity. And connectivity is what defines the future.
Communication still driving innovation to the future
We live in a time of digital transformation. Digital disruption is here, affecting companies and users equally. So what are the current trends and what defines this transformation? "Digital transformation is now an imperative, it's all about ‘disrupt or be disrupted’", stated the expert. "So you can think of transformation being mandatory. If you don't transform to adapt to these new environments, this new economy, and the new way to work, you are going to be disrupted, personally or in terms of your company". One of the key points, as we saw, is communication.
"We always have been social animals, and always have been looking for new ways to communicate", explained the influencer. "There have been concerns about every new technology. Every generation has fears of emergent technologies of their time. Yet history shows that we always find the ways to adapt and evolve as human beings, taking advantage of new technologies new means of communication. I think the future of Social Networks is multi-dimensional, without any one dominant channel". Kirstel's opinion is that we could be communicating by voice, by video, by text, over apps or over a hundred or thousands of different channels. "But I don't see one being more important than any other, in particular. I do see the voice communication being more improved than ever".
"Now voice is rising as a way to communicate with computers and is a massively trending phenomenon. And I think that high-quality video is coming back as a great communication medium thanks to high-quality networks, and 'HD' voice over 5G, 4G... you're going to see voice and video as more important media than ever in this sort of multimode communication where the only-telephone world is coming to an end".
But, some problems remain to be solved. "I think there are cultural challenges. There is a huge 'legacy' of resistance to change or to adapt, adopting new technology", said the expert. This could be one of the main barriers to break in the years coming. "Many companies suffer from some resistance to change, as well. And education; the education system is broken in many ways, and is not suitable for this new world we are going to live in".