A year without a geo-event in Berlin, that's not just on, is it? The last Geomonday was almost a year ago. Until yesterday, that is.
Jan and the team put together another event with focus on the overlap between Internet of Things (IoT) and Geo.
Geo and IoT: better together, but how?
Fascinating topic. IoT brings objects embedded in a real world into the networked, digital sphere. As such, IoT has a spatial component at its core. How exactly will this overlap work, is not clear.
Gothic Hi Tech: ESRI and HERE
By far the most expansive vision was articulated by ESRI, presented by Lars Schmitz.
It was Gothic Hi Tech at its finest. Glossy presentation, slick demos, baroque product names ("ArcGIS GeoEvent Processor for Server", anyone?) and event-driven stuff everywhere.
All adding up to same old GIS, this time with objects that move. In real time. This is far from trivial. Still, it feels underwhelming.
Incrementalism was a play at HERE talk on building navigation tools for Samsung smartwatch.
For all their efforts, it feels HERE has little to show for it. Old navigation functionality, on a new, awkward platform. It is way too early to write wearables off. Judging from the demo, HERE's approach does not seem like a way forward.
Favela Chic to the rescue: Dustcloud and Vimcar
Away from the Gothic Hi Tech, things are looking more exciting.
I will confess my utter disinterest for gaming, particularly as designed by Dustcloud. It does demonstrate, however, that you can now build custom hardware fairly cheaply and integrate it in a location-based service.
Similar low-fi approach was at display from Vimcar. A platform (car), a data source (OBD port), a very well defined consumer pain (tax payments) and a simple, well-executed service combining a hardware transmitter and a mobile app.
IoT: get close to the things!
Kudos for the incumbents engaging with the new opportunities. However, their vision is too generic.
At this moment, I am convinced that the way to solve user problems with IoT is from the bottom up: based on solid understanding both of the hardware platforms and specific pain points to be addressed.
How exactly will those IoT services look, remains unclear. Whatever it might be, it will have a geo component to it.