Earlier today Apple people held one of their special events, where they unveiled a bunch of new iDevices and iServices. Even though you attended these events - having followed Apple professionally for many years - more times than you care to remember, you will still get amazed every time by how they are meticulously crafted to focus the attention on the products, despite the actual innovation load that they bring along.
This time, however, something else caught attention, and for different reasons. Jeff Williams, Apple COO, went on stage to talk about ResearchKit, a software framework for iOS applications that eases data gathering for medical research purposes, and to introduce CareKit, a new, patient-oriented, framework whose purpose is to make it easier to collect data r through the device itself to track symptoms and medications. The goal is to make those information available to empower users and their caring teams with a better picture of their health.
Basically, we are talking about transforming raw data into relevant information.
Ring any bells?
It's hardly a novelty seeing an iPhone (or a smartphone in general) as a component of the IoT stack, but usually, we see it as the mere interface for the user to make use of some kind of sensor.
But with this somewhat new perspective where the smartphone - now not anymore considered as a gateway or, worse, a mere "remote" - becomes the edge platform of an extended technology stack, as it collects information that will later see their value being increased thanks to a remote application (probably on an agnostic cloud, AWS and Azure included) that will be able to leverage data coming from every personal device.
As you can see this is something new, something probably only slightly different on the technical side, but massively different in terms of approach: a true huge extension of the very essence of
consumer personal IoT.
Over the years we got the habit of seeing the smartphone as our personal gateway to the outer world, but maybe now it's time for the other way round to prevail: an Internet of Things scenario where us, the people, are at the same time subject and object, users and, well, things...