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Why IoT is not just another isolation tool

IoT can seem like just another very individuating approach to technology and a follow up to systems like self-check-outs, noise-cancelling headphones and intelligent personal assistants like Siri or Alexa.

This growing independency and isolation is the subject of many a scholarly article about how technology is isolating rather than connecting us and that IoT is only an extension of this idea.

Automation that is brought on by IoT reduces the need for communication with other people as it completes the same tasks faster, more precisely and, naturally without much or any prompting from the user at all. The prompting that occasionally is required is not classified as communication as it is between a human and software instead of two humans.

But there is another side that is often ignored in this debate. It is not a barrier between social communication and connection but rather a facilitator. Imagine an oil company manager is in an important meeting with a client and there is a rupture in his pipeline. Ten years ago, the meeting would have had to be paused and rescheduled due to the manager leaving. Three years ago, they would have had to find a tablet or a smartphone and concentrate on opening an app to commence the repair process. Although an improvement, the time it would take to do this is still away from the productive time spent in the meeting. Today, you can say “send statistics” or “automatic repairmen” to an interactive system from the comfort of your chair and not more than two second later, you can be back with your client.

This is only one scenario but it aptly demonstrates the effect that technological advances have on human interaction. There are millions of situations like this one – a doctor receiving information electronically so the patient has more time to concentrate on the physical side of the appointment or scheduling the recording of a tv-show to better prioritise your time.

The concept applies to Dashboard’s choice of industries too. A successful business needs communication to work in practice, whether it is in oil, gas, mining or energy and IoT is an enabler for not only M2M, but H2H, so to speak. It is one of the reasons we find IoT a key element of organisational evolution and we are a strong supporter of the value it represents.