In the last week or so I've attended activities and events with several Internet of Things communities. They were a bit disparate, but all united on the need for much more intercommunication everywhere.
With each group of people you talk to about the Internet of Things it's not what you say but how you say it to get the points across. What works for one group doesn't necessarily work for another. It's all about getting into the different mindsets of different audiences.
Example from IoT Session at Parliament & Internet 2012 Conference
One of those events involved some of the global corporate community engaged in IoT (chip designer ARM, smart city infrastructure proponent Living PlanIT, and big data user, the Ordnance Survey) presenting on IoT to the UK government community.
It was at an Internet of Things "wake-up" session aimed at UK Parliamentarians and their influencers in Westminster, London, organised by the Digital Policy Alliance. It was part of the day-long annual Parliament & Internet conference run by Parliamentary/industry group PICTFOR.
(For this Internet of Things session click here and fast forward to 1.26.30)
Really significant for politicians was the top level message summarising the core take-aways for Parliamentarians from the meeting by session chairman Julian Huppert, MP for Cambridge.
His message was simple: All he said, and in just short of a minute, was that:
- Internet of Things is happening on a huge scale
- It's a great opportunity with British technology playing a leading role
- There are also risks relating to privacy and security
- As long as we get it right it's a fantastic opportunity but could be a complete disaster if we get it wrong - “so let's hope for getting it right”
(click here and fast forward to 2.10.50 for his one-minute summary)
That is the essence of the political message - and, indeed, all that Parliamentarians, continually bombarded by lobbyists, schedules, debates and constituents' needs, could hope to take take in. They may or may not have taken in the more focussed points made in the session but at least they know who to turn to when Internet of Things hits them in the future.
It's not just what you say but how - and who says it
People in other IoT communities might think this over simplistic, or even trite. Maybe, for their own communities, and their own awareness needs. But what matters for each community is that they get the message in a mindset they can relate to and ideally from someone whose judgement they trust.
Seems surprising, but for some politicians and influencers this was the first time they had come across the Internet of Things - and these are the very people currently contributing to decisions on one of the first major Internet of Things programmes to impact everybody - smart meters.
So high level strategic IoT bullet points such as these need to be constantly drummed in to make today's decision takers aware of the wider context and potential future implications of the decisions they are taking today.