With the promise of an Internet-of-Things, an abundance of connected smart objects around us will collaborate to deliver us novel services that we couldn’t have dreamt of before. But, how should we, as an industry, prepare for this? How can we create (new) value for our customers?
Let’s start with some history. In the last years, the general availability of creation tools and distribution mechanisms for digital media has resulted in a so-called long tail of user created digital artefacts complementing the commercial offering of online media. Everyone can now create movies and put them on YouTube. A similar trend is ongoing for web resources where toolkits for creating mash-ups are complemented with online communities for sharing APIs and code.
I will present some inhibiting factors that prevent this wave of mass creativity to start in the world of connected Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices. How can people trust services delivered by the IoT? How can they understand the services delivered to them by the smart environment? And, finally, how can users actively participate in this Internet-of-Things, as they do now on the Web?
I will zoom into this last aspect by addressing the required tools and sharing mechanisms for non-technical users to participate and co-create value on the Internet-of-Things. I will use SenseTale.com as one example trying to fill this gap. SenseTale is a live research prototype resulting from multi-disciplinary research that offers an online marketplace for IoT applications, real-time data and user created high-level abstractions thereof. SenseTale offers a first glimpse of a 3-sided marketplace where creative users, developers, and device manufacturers meet.