Meet a modern family
Take a moment to count how many web-connected devices are lying around your house today. Chances are, if you are part of the average family in Europe, you are likely to have about 10.
Digital lifestyle allows us all to work, play, create, and share in a more joined up way and on our own terms. All of the lines between all that we do are beautifully blurred – as we fluidly switch from checking work emails to updating our social media status to playing a game. This constant connectivity is already deeply ingrained in our daily lives, giving us the possibility to work together more efficiently while socialising and exercising our creative streak at the same time.
And chances are, your usual routine looks a lot like our family’s routine, where they need to make the most of any moment.Hover over the image to follow them throughout their day!
Life in the Smart Lane
Computing that surrounds us today is a far cry from its humble beginnings where one PC was shared by everybody in the home. Nowadays, computers are more than just tools, they are ubiquitous assistants in our day-to-day lives. Our tech is much smarter, more integrated and much more personal: smartphones that reflect the unique personality of the owner of the pocket in which they often sit; tablets that help mobile workers to bridge between their personal and professional life; smart consoles, online services and TVs offer new experiences to each family member. All of these gadgets and services are here to help us manage our lives, whilst we are ultimately in charge of how to best use them.
Over the last decade, the range of Internet-connected devices has grown significantly, fuelled in part by the exponential growth of apps and new cloud-based services.
Put together, these trends are leading to a future marked by what some call the Internet of Things (IoT): a world where millions of people, processes, and devices (from fridges and cars to heart rate, energy, and traffic monitors) are connected in ways where the sum is greater – and smarter - than the individual parts.
Each device gathers and analyses the relevant data, then utilises and shares what it has learnt. The power and potential of all these connected and smart technologies offers you the freedom and flexibility to do things when, how and where you want.
Smart technology for a smarter society
Now try to imagine the life of the modern family in a decade or so. Relating and socialising, using cloud computing while sensors gather information about everything they’ve permissioned, from frequent locations and health statistics to energy usage.
For example, you could have built-in sensors in your clothing that would measure your heart rate, respiration, and skin conductivity. If you choose so, your doctor could be granted access to the information collected by the sensor. In time, connectivity may also provide, at a much larger scale, real time insight into the state of our natural resources, enabling us to optimize how we use them. Smart grids in every home will help us be more energy efficient both for the benefit of the planet and our pocketbooks.
All this interactivity is generating massive amounts of data; data that is securely stored in the cloud and being harnessed in ways that allow us to personalise and contextualise our lives the way we choose. Machines analyse the data to identify patterns and trends, helping them better understand our current needs and predict our future ones, while leaving us in control. This knowledge is tailoring services so they meet our own personal needs and desires. In short, this is big data.
After all, a better understanding of individuals’ needs contributes to a smarter society: where doctors care for patients in the comfort of their own homes, teachers educate students outside the four walls of the classroom, and where city authorities provide inhabitants and visitors with the relevant information and services they require at any time. These are merely snapshots of what’s already happening today. Tomorrow’s world can take these opportunities even further.