RtOI: the Ultimate Promise of Industrial Mobility, Big Data and GEO-Intelligence
Why not?! That was the question posed to me by my daughter when we visited the zoo and she saw a screen, the size of a 10-inch tablet, secured on a stand. It had information about events, the animals and that day’s weather. She proceeded to walk up and attempted to interact with it using a 21st century pointing device– that’s right, her finger. When it did nothing, she turned to me with a quizzical look on her face and said, “It’s broke”. When I corrected her and said that the display really wasn’t intended to be interactive, she then looked at me with an incredulous look and said, “Why not?” Of course, I had no good answer for that, so I did what any good parent would do at that point -- distract, “Look! Giraffes!”
Roll ahead a couple of months and the backdrop is similar only this time we find ourselves in a department store, looking for a specific type of shoe. As we were walking up and down the aisles, she spots an electronic kiosk with a massive display. She asked what it was for and I explained that it allows you to look up products that you want to find and order them. I could immediately see the wheels turning in her brain. She ran up to the console and began to interact with it. To her elation, this one wasn’t “broke” and allowed her to leverage her extremely adept pointer finger with ease.
This time, though, the challenge for her was different. She could not find what she wanted using the interface offered. Again, she looked at me and said, “Well this just doesn’t make any sense.” Of course, I took the bait and inquired, “What doesn't, honey?” She replied, “All I want to know is if they have the shoe in the color, style and size available in this store. Not only can I not find what I am looking for, but it is asking me for the location. Doesn’t it know where I am?” Lacking the random wild animal in this case to direct her attention to, I attempted to answer honestly. “Well not everything is smart enough to know that.” Again, “Why not?” was the response. “I bet I could do it with Google!”
And there it was, not only did my then 7-year-old prove to me that she was much smarter than I was at that age (frankly, she could probably give me a run for my money at my current age), but she laid out the ultimate promise of mobile, big data and GEO-Intelligence. These value propositions are no longer just trends but are hard-wired interwoven expectations that transcend everything we do. With that, the tolerance of our changing workforce to accept the fact that what you do in life cannot be done in work, is rapidly dwindling as well.
Sooner than I may like, my daughter will grow up and enter the workforce. She, and her peers, will expect industrial systems to operate like their personal ones. She will expect to monitor her work environment from her personal mobile device, ask others for immediate advice from friends and colleagues, and make decisions from wherever she is.
As I look at where we are today with technologies that enable real-time operational intelligence, I too ask “Why not?” Do you?