SOGETI UK BLOG

To continue my series of blog posts about how to practice the Internet of Things in different sectors, here is one for the public sector.

One of the most exciting things that is happening in our industry is that more and more organizations are publishing their data and functionality as APIs, and thereby enabling the creation of value ecosystems for the benefit of the end user. One such example is that we helped our client Philips to make the functionality of their Hue lights available to everyone in a public API.

Especially interesting is that many public institutions are making their very useful and previously hidden digital assets available to all citizens. One great example is the US open data initiative started by President Obama, which now publishes some 200,000 APIs in many areas such as business, agriculture, climate, consumer, ecosystems, education, energy, finance, health, etc. There’s so much information available that I encourage you to check out their catalog, and it really gets interesting when you consider what can be done by combining these APIs. If you are an institution (or any organization) who is looking for a way to making your data available to the public, I can tell you that there are nice tools available today that makes it easy. If so, please don’t hesitate to contact me, and I can tell you more, or even quickly set up an example of how it could look and work.

Pretty brunette blowing her nose on a sunny day

One example of such an API is provided by a Swedish institution, and it gives access to pollen levels for different locations. That’s really valuable if you are allergic to some of them, like myself. When I’m traveling to Sweden, I always check their web site for current levels, to be prepared if they are high. However, it’s not very convenient to find the information  I’m looking for, and I often forget to check, which leads to a lot of sneezing. An interesting use of this data would be to make it more easily available to people with allergic problems, and in a way that is more accessible than browsing a web site, finding the right page, and so on. We could even do better than an app with a smart and connected device that could translate the levels into a more accessible and simple indicator. How about a small box right inside the door at home, so that you could check the levels with a quick glance? That would save time, prevent unpleasant surprises and even be fun. Especially if you indicate the levels with a smiley.

Christian Forsberg AUTHOR:
Chris Forsberg is Sogeti's Global Digital Channels Lead Architect, and his passion is apps and the Internet of Things. He has been involved in the implementation of more than 100 apps on iOS and Android, and most with integration to back-end systems.

Posted in: API, Behaviour Driven Development, communication, Digital, e-Commerce, Human Behaviour, Innovation, Internet of Things, Open Data, Opinion, Publications, Reports      
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Ever since Amazon gifted me a $50 voucher for filling out a survey about their cloud services, I have stopped filling out surveys for free (with the exception of when it’s for a good non-profit cause), and I recommend you to do the same. The simple reason is that I want to help teach all organizations that my sincere opinion about anything is my asset that I am prepared to sell, but not to give away for free. Nowadays, I always reply to any free rider survey request with a question, “what’s in it for me?”, but I rarely get an answer.

That’s not so strange, because there is still a wide-spread misconception that actually asking customers what they think is all that is needed to create customer satisfaction.  This is no longer the case, but the issue is even bigger, because it’s really about me sharing all of my personal data. Not only my personal information, like name, address, phone, date of birth, etc but also what I do online, like the sites I visit, what I do there, the apps that I use, and the features I use in those apps, etc. Everything is very interesting to most companies, but these are my assets and I want to be in total control of them and even have the choice to sell them at the right price.

The days of capturing user information and interactions in a hidden way are over. Doing that today will only risk yet another “privacy” scandal, which have been very common these days. Instead, my recommendation to all organizations is to be completely transparent with what they want to capture and what they are offering in return. It could be as simple as just informing about the use of cookies (which is actually a law in EU) to track user interaction, which everyone currently seems to accept to allow for free, but this might change. It could be a more advanced integration between a site or an app with the Facebook Ad network to understand social interaction around an organizations products and services.

What will probably surprise most organizations is that many people are willing to trade their personal online data for a decent compensation, so why not try it?

 

Christian Forsberg AUTHOR:
Chris Forsberg is Sogeti's Global Digital Channels Lead Architect, and his passion is apps and the Internet of Things. He has been involved in the implementation of more than 100 apps on iOS and Android, and most with integration to back-end systems.

Posted in: Apps, Big data, Cloud, Digital strategy, Innovation, integration tests, Internet of Things, IT strategy, privacy, Research, Security, Social Aspects, Testing and innovation, User Experience      
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To continue my series of blog posts about how to practice the Internet of Things in different sectors, here is one for the Insurance sector.

One of the biggest opportunities of the Internet of Things for product manufacturers is to make their existing products smarter. A famous examples is what our client Philips have done with their smart Hue lights, making the traditional dull light bulb into something inspiring. They have made several of their lights wirelessly connected so that they can be controlled in a number of ways. Obviously they can be turned on and off, but also to some intensity somewhere in-between. Even the color can be changed, and all this can be controlled from their mobile apps. But they wanted to go further by becoming a part of the ecosystem around lights, so we helped them build an API  that can be used by any third-party developers building solutions that include their lights. This opens up for anything that can be created with software (or really the imagination), and their products have thereby become so much more.

An interesting use of lights would be to provide help in an emergency situation, and that could be something that an insurance company would be interested in. The lights could act as a way to attract attention (or even wake someone up) and also provide guidance in a smoke-filled environment. One way of making this happen would be to make another traditional product, the fire alarm, smarter. A smart fire alarm could notify a server about high levels of smoke, and the server could take a number of actions. It could notify the owners via mobile app push notifications, and it could even automatically alert the local fire department. The server could also use the Philips Hue API www.developers.meethue.com to make the light blink for attention and even color them to guide people through the smoke to the nearest exit. The device could also send a notification if the battery level was becoming critically low, and thereby preventing a very common hazard with most current fire alarms.

Here is a video on how such a device (and server) can be put together.

 

Christian Forsberg AUTHOR:
Chris Forsberg is Sogeti's Global Digital Channels Lead Architect, and his passion is apps and the Internet of Things. He has been involved in the implementation of more than 100 apps on iOS and Android, and most with integration to back-end systems.

Posted in: API, Cloud, Human Resources, Innovation, Internet of Things, IT strategy, mobile applications, mobile testing, Quality Assurance, Requirements, Research, Smart, Social Aspects      
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energylight

To continue my series of blog posts about how to practice the Internet of Things, let’s look at how it can be used in different sectors, and first out is the Energy and Utilities sector.

One very interesting possibility with the Internet of Things is to make things visible that are usually not. Such an example is electricity, which is omnipresent in our lives, but still is not something we can see. One important aspect of electricity is it’s price, and that is also not visible in any easy way. Since most energy markets are open and prices vary over time, it could be profitable to keep track of prices, so that you can optimize your use of energy, e.g. wash the clothes when the price for electricity is low. More importantly, this kind of behavior will actually help the energy suppliers as the load on the grid is evened out over time. This in turn will have an impact on overall energy use.

The problem is that prices are not easily visible, and it’s a bit cumbersome to keep track of the suppliers web site or even their app. That’s where the Internet of Things can help, like putting a connected smart light in each home that change color to reflect the price variations. Then the whole family (even small children) can get a sense of the current price, and even more interesting, it builds a general awareness of energy use, which is increasingly important in these times of global warming.

Here is a video on how such a device can be put together.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WFpb65Mv5lE

 

Christian Forsberg AUTHOR:
Chris Forsberg is Sogeti's Global Digital Channels Lead Architect, and his passion is apps and the Internet of Things. He has been involved in the implementation of more than 100 apps on iOS and Android, and most with integration to back-end systems.

Posted in: Human Behaviour, Infrastructure, Innovation, Internet of Things, IT Security, IT strategy, Quality Assurance, Requirements, Research, Software Development, Transformation      
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Amy & Tinitell Aqua 2

How to practice the Internet of Things?  Let’s talk about wearables.

Wearables have now passed the peak in Gartner’s hype cycle, and Forrester report that they are on the agenda of 76% of organizations, which is comparable with where the mobile market was in 2010. Even if there is a flood of new devices on the market, there will still be some time until they have evolved into widespread productivity. However, that also means that those that take advantage of this technology can create a competitive advantage. There are many scenarios where wearables make sense, both to capture sensor data and to work as an indicator of something. Below you find a number of videos that very practically show examples of this.

Amy & Tinitell Coral 3 The core hardware is coming down in size and  price, like the upcoming ESP32 with both WiFi  and Bluetooth (Low Energy), which will  probably cost a couple of US dollars. That  create a lot of room for experimentation, and  therefore I encourage you to start thinking  about how wearables can help your customers,  citizens, and employees. What data would they  like to capture which is not possible with a  smartphone? Would they like to be notified  about something without the need to get their  smartphone out of their pocket? Here are some  examples of sensors that might be relevant:  temperature, pressure, air quality, smoke, gases, light, humidity, vital signs, pulse, compass, direction, gyro, magnetism, tilt, rotation, sound, touch, shock, obstacle, knock, proximity, flame, and many more. For actuators, think micro moments in the customer journey that require only a glance of information that users can act on immediately.

One example is our client Tinitell that have put wearable technology to good use by letting it keep in contact with and track of our loved ones.

Here is a video on how to capture sensor data with a wearable using Bluetooth and a smartphone.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TWZ8CE9Zkxg

Here is a video on how to control a wearable using Bluetooth and a smartphone.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8nJ0tIhLEWs

Here is a video on how to use a wearable for Business Intelligence.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_1Px0iz-WI

 

Christian Forsberg AUTHOR:
Chris Forsberg is Sogeti's Global Digital Channels Lead Architect, and his passion is apps and the Internet of Things. He has been involved in the implementation of more than 100 apps on iOS and Android, and most with integration to back-end systems.

Posted in: Business Intelligence, Developers, Infrastructure, Innovation, Internet of Things, IT strategy, Quality Assurance, Research, Social Aspects, Socio-technical systems, Software Development, Wearable technology      
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