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Te next big deal: Te Internet of Tings I

n 2016, there are three words you should pay close at- tention to: Te Internet of Tings, otherwise known as IoT. What social media was to Web 2.0 10 -15 years ago, IoT will do the same thing for Web 3.0 in advancing global connectivity. What defines IoT? Research

Adam Johnston

firm Gartner defines IoT as “the network of physical objects that contain embedded technology to communicate and sense or interact with their internal states or the external environ- ment.” MIT’s Michael Schrage in 2015 dubbed IoT as “social media for machines,” thanks to the artif icial intelligence and learning going on between machines (M2M). For example, your connected fridge, will tell your smart phone when you are

out of apples, which will remind you to go to the store to replenish your smart fridge with apples. Author Jeremy Rifkin, of The Zero Marginal Cost

Society suggests, IoT is made of three components: A communications Internet, energy Internet, and logis- tics Internet. Regardless how it’s define, IoT’s impact will be huge.

Various reports suggest 20.8 to 50 billion devices con- nected devices by 2020, while the economic value ranges from $11US to $19US trillion in the future. In- vestment and innovation is being poured in from both old industrial giants, to Silicon Valley heavyweights. General Electric, Siemens, Cisco, Apple, and Google are moving towards where the puck is headed, as they look to capitalize on IoT’s expansive marketplace. We are already seeing the impact of IoT is having.

In health, smart phone aps are dedicated to improve fitness. In agriculture, IoT technologies are shaping to provide efficiency and transparency in farming tech- niques. Shipping companies, including UPS are taking advantage of IoT automations to provide more efficient service for their customers. Meanwhile, IoT provides renewable energy and

cleantech a framework in transitioning towards a clean energy economy. General Electric’s wind turbine can let them know those behind wind changes, thus altering blade angle in order to prevent turbine damage. US solar company SolarCity has a mobile app which allows cus- tomers to see their energy use in real time, as SolarCity can use data from panel installations to provide home energy forecasts for their customers.

Beware: the future is coming. Photo by Gerd Altmann. Utilities also use IoT, advancing smart grid technol-

ogy. Utilities can install smart meters on homes. Tis can provide two way feedback between the consumer and producer, sharing energy data. This allows for greater flexibility in providing power when needed and allocating energy when necessary during times of extreme weather events. Smart grids flexibility also al- lows for more renewable energies, including wind and solar to be mixed within the grid. While IoT can provide tremendous new economic op-

portunities, there is some major concerns. First, is related to privacy and security. A few years ago, a Puerto Rico utility lost $400US million in revenue, thanks to hackers underestimating how much energy use from their smart meters. Smart have received strong backlash by privacy activists because of potential breaches in private data.

Meanwhile, compatibility is another challenge facing

IoT, A 2015 WT Vox article, pointed out as there is no pro- tocol universally, devices can’t “talk” to each other, which could cause some severe headaches for many IoT devices. IoT will not go away, as technology advances. We

need to embrace this change in order to improve lives, economic efficiency, and lower our carbon footprint. However, developers, consumer advocates and IoT policy analysts will need to work in smoothing out privacy, security, and compatibility concerns for all IoT devices within the near future in order to make sure this is a smooth transition. Adam Johnston is a freelance writer who covers renew-

able energy, cleantech and technology trends. Adam has written for CleanTechnica, SolarLove, and MicroGrid Media. He can be reached at

How to make your goals stick this year A

simple tool for setting – and keep- ing – your personal and professional resolutions

Have you made any goals for the New

Year? Personal goals? Career goals? Have you outlined the steps you need to achieve those goals? Tis past January your social

media probably has been flood- ed with posts from family and friends about the goals they are looking to achieve in 2016… knowing this will all become old news next week. Many of us will walk into a crowded gym and roll our eyes in anticipation of February when the gym is empty again. The crazy part is so many

created this tool at Intel in the 1970s, and later spread it across other companies like Google. Many tech companies today use this tool to help employees connect to the strategic goals of the company. I thought more about how this structure would also serve use- ful to personal goals. Te best part of the OKR sys-

tem is that it is simple. Tere are two parts: Objectives. You start by de-

people are quick to commit, but cannot make their goals stick long term. According to a research study done by University of Scranton, only 8% of people achieve their New Year’s goals. Why do so many goals fail? I too have made goals that became an

Think Shift Alexis Sparks

fining three to five key objec- tives, your goals. Objectives should be ambitious, qualita- tive, time bound and action- able. Results. Under each objec-

tive, define three or four meas- urable results, not more. Key results should be quantifiable, achievable and be difficult but

not impossible. OKR results can be based on growth, performance and can also show if something is done or undone. Here is an example of a personal OKR: Objective: I will run the Nike Women’s

afterthought a few weeks later. I’m not here to tell you how to make them successful; every plan can fail, no matter how well you planned it. Many people decide on a goal and never think about all the smaller tactics they need to achieve in order to accomplish that goal. So how can you actually create change

and make goals easier to attain? One tool I found very useful in setting

professional goals is a tool called OKR: Ob- jectives and Key Results. Andy Grove first

February 2016

marathon in September. Results: Find a running coach to help with meal

plan and running schedule Accomplish 85% of my running schedule

monthly Run a half marathon in less than two

hours in April As you can see, the objective is clear,

ambitious and time bound. Te results are measureable and achievable. It might take you a few times at writing your OKR before

Whether you're running a marathon or just trying to eat healthier, the OKR method can help. Photo by Skeeze.

you get clear enough. Once you have a plan mapped out for your

goal, it’s time to follow it! Review and track. Review your OKR each

week and put a percent to each result to track your progress. Share and stay accountable. Lastly, the

most important part of this tool is you shar- ing your OKR with people that will support you in accomplishing your goal. Te more people you have around you that will hold you accountable and encourage you the

more likely you will stay motivated. Also, the transparency will keep you accountable to yourself. So take a look at your goals for the New

Year, do you have a plan to achieve them? Is it clear and time bound? Try breaking them down into OKRs and find people in your life that will hold you accountable. Tat way, those goals won’t become an afterthought six weeks from now. Best of luck in accomplishing your goals

in 2016! Smart Biz 5

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