Big Data, Smart Cities, and IoT Devices

Big Data and Smart City go hand in hand - or perhaps byte in byte.  Big data, and the use of it, is ultimately what makes the city "smart", and it has to come from somewhere.    If there's value in the data, then there's certainly value in producing it.  If we've established that tenet, then finding a way to filter that value down the chain to the device makers and maintainers is paramount to building a successful IoT/Big Data (IoTBD?) device deployment.

Here's an example of real IoTBD problem:  SensorUp - a startup company that specializes in big data collection and dissemination - builds a cloud platform API to store and retrieve IoT data.  They also build and sell data producing devices in the form of an IoT weather station that feeds into their platform. 

Now, I have one of these weather stations.  Though not a lot, it does require maintenance: those blinking lights - has the wifi stopped working?  Do I need to move it again?  Cleaning the snow to get better airflow, etc. 

In other words, the IoT device - the big data producer - needs ongoing maintenance and no one is incentivized to do it.  Right now this is volunteer based, and obviously the incentive is low to keep this deployment operational. 

But if there is value in big data, and these devices are producing that data, this situation has to change.  SensorUp can hire contractors and roll trucks and pay to have a team to maintain these devices (they could do this because there's presumably someone paying for the data), or better yet, they incentivize the Smart Citizens (SensorUp's term) to maintain the devices. 

To be honest, I'd like to be compensated to host this device in my backyard, and I'll make sure it works because I'm compensated by the "uptime" and to some extent the quality of the data.  Positioning the device higher up and away from my house and dryer vents should be rewarded.  How closely a device's measurements follows other devices in the area is part of the quality factor computation.

Needless to say, solutions to this IoTBD problem will not only need to be solved, but will need to be invented before we can realize the true power of the IoT.  This is not a SensorUp problem but a problem every single Big Data Smart City IoT Device Deployment faces.




  • There are no comments yet. Be the first one to post a comment on this article!

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published