Thursday, June 19, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Managing Crowded Cities with the Internet of Everything

Photo Credit: suspectphotography.com

Above is a link to a video from CNN.com about a company using traffic cameras and algorithms to reveal data about pedestrians; essentially, becoming a part of the Internet of Everything (IoE).

The video was set in New York City, one of the most crowded places in the United States, with millions of people walking around daily. The Department of Transportation would hire individuals twice a year to use umpire pitch counters and manually track the number of pedestrians walking by. Using this method is not always accurate, though. In today’s society, now that everything is connecting to the Internet, a startup called Placemeter is supporting this phenomenon. Using various cameras around the city, they can count the number of people outside and inside buildings and turn those camera feeds in useful data.

Capturing these numbers and turning them into actionable data that can be accessed by the public is just another way to stay connected through the Internet. As they mention in the video, “Americans spend roughly 37 billion hours a year waiting in lines.” This technology can help the public reduce the number of hours they spend waiting in line. 

Imagine a world where a Virtual Agent can augment this type of technology by organizing and communicating this information to humans. For example, a Virtual Agent might have access to this data and let users know how many people are at the grocery store so it can estimate how long it might take you to go shopping. Or the Virtual Agent might notify you that your favorite restaurant has a short wait time. The more information you have on a location, the better equipped you are to manage those areas.

How do you feel about the ability for cameras to count people and share this information with the public? Would a Virtual Agent help to provide the 'human element' to transform this data into loyalty and efficiency?