SENSORS (What do they have to do with Vending Machines?)


Recently, Mike Martz introduced us to the Internet of Things (IoT). This is what happens when you combine cloud technology, wireless networks, standardized communications protocols, RFID, worldwide IP networks, Big Data, miniaturized sensors, and cheap storage and computing power. Let’s drill down on SENSORS!
The concept of IoT originated in the Auto-ID Lab at MIT in 1999 and was based on RFID, but has been expanded since to include sensor devices that enable machine to machine communication and autonomous event-driven decision making. Sensors are appearing in traffic signals, factories, distributors, homes and even the weather. A while back I reported on XML in Your Weather. While I was primarily focusing on the METAR coding scheme to send weather data around the World, the “Weatherman” told me a lot about Big Data and things like “smart” rain gauges.

Not like they sprung these sensors on us overnight. They have been hinting” for a while. Even the movies picked up on them. The 2002 movie ‘Minority Report‘ shows a person receiving sensor-based individualized advertising messaging as he walked through a store. Director Steven Spielberg consulted numerous scientists in an attempt to present a more plausible future world than that seen in other science fiction films, and some of the technology designs in the film have become true.