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Big Data Journal: Article

The Race for Sensors to Supply Big Data and Enterprise Mobility

MobileEnterpriseStrategies.com

Today's competitive marketplace requires companies to collect more data, analyze more data and utilize more data to improve customer interactions and engagements. Mobile devices are exceptionally designed to assist in this effort. Apple's iPhone comes with an inventory of sensors:

  • Touch
  • Voice
  • GPS
  • Proximity
  • Ambient Light
  • Accelerometer
  • Magnetometer
  • Gyroscopic

I listened to an IT expert in the CIA give a presentation on how they could use the sensors on a typical smartphone to uniquely identify the walking style and pace of individuals. For example, the intelligence agency may suspect a person carrying a phone is a bad guy. They can remotely switch on the smartphone's sensors and record the walking style and pace of the person carrying the phone and match it with their database records. SCARY ISN'T IT!?

Those are just a few of the sensors available that integrate the physical world with the digital. Read this article I wrote to learn more about the incredible capabilities of sensors.

Mobile apps can also be considered the API (application programming interface) between humans and smartphones. For example, a mobile application for recommending local restaurants may start by asking the user what kind of food they prefer. The human queries their stomach, and then inputs the results into their mobile app by touching the keypad or using their voice.

Suddenly a server in an Amazon data center knows your stomach's inputs!  That is one powerful sensor and API! Given the vast array of sensors in the human body incredible things can be done once those sensor inputs are digitized.

Although there are many powerful sensors in the human body the API is still the human's touch, typing or voice. The emergence of wearable sensors and smart devices are a way to try to automate the process of data collection so humans are not required to take time and effort to input the data.

Sensors are also connected to the non-physical. Sensors can connect with time. Once time reaches a specified place, a digital alarm can go off striking your physical ear with sound waves. That is making the non-physical inputs, physical.

The challenge for businesses today is to envision how all of these sensors and available real-time data can be used to improve customer service, product design, marketplace interactions and engagements so there are more profits at the end of the day.

In the book Digital Disruptions, James McQuivey writes that for most of history, disruptions (business and marketplace transformations) occurred in a physical world of factories and well-trod distribution networks.  However, the disruptions of tomorrow are likely coming from digital disruptions - sensors, code halos, big data and mobile devices and wearables.

The task and challenge of every IT department is to understand and design a strategy that recognizes that the competitive playing fields of tomorrow are among the digits.

***Have you seen the new Mobile Solution Directory here http://mobilesolutiondirectory.blogspot.com/?

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Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst for Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud (SMAC) Cognizant

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Learn about mobile strategies at MobileEnterpriseStrategies.com Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Mobility

***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and SMAC analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

More Stories By Kevin Benedict

Kevin Benedict is the Senior Analyst for Digital Transformation at Cognizant, a writer, speaker and SAP Mentor Alumnus. Follow him on Twitter @krbenedict. He is a popular speaker around the world on the topic of digital transformation and enterprise mobility. He maintains a busy schedule researching, writing and speaking at events in North America, Asia and Europe. He has over 25 years of experience working in the enterprise IT solutions industry.