If you have a cellphone, you've probably used location tracking. Indeed, the majority of consumers are carrying a smart device that is consistently sending out private information like location data. However, smartphones are just one of the many smart devices that are transmitting extremely accurate details concerning the user's activity and whereabouts. This is not entirely new. Indeed, modern watches, motors, and smaller smart accessories like rings and necklaces all have GPS systems.
IBM's Watson IoT is aimed at bringing together artificial intelligence (AI) tools such as machine learning, deep learning, machine reasoning, natural language processing (NLP), and computer vision and applying them to industrial Internet of Things (IoT) applications. The platform collects data, analyzes it, and puts the data into a business context to solve specific problems that include asset performance, facility management, operations, product development, health and safety, and predictive maintenance, among others. One of the big differentiators for Watson IoT is the use of IBM's Blockchain platform for specific IoT applications, where IoT devices can send data to private blockchain ledgers that can be used for shared transactions with tamper-proof security. Rather than collecting, storing, and managing all of your IoT data centrally, the blockchain's distributed replication allows businesses to access and supply IoT data in a decentralized fashion. Centralized silos can be expensive and difficult to manage, especially when applied to a data-hungry and data-sensitive area like IoT.
Rumors that Facebook had bought Eye Tribe, a Danish start-up that specializes in eye tracking technology, were confirmed yesterday by TechCrunch. Details about the acquisition price and what Facebook plans to do with Eye Tribe are unavailable but speculation is that eye tracking will become part of Facebook-owned Oculus's virtual reality (VR) system. Eye Tribe was founded in 2011 to develop affordable, consumer-oriented eye-tracking technology. The company has produced an API that allows software developers to build eye tracking into their applications and a $199 consumer product called the Eye Tribe Tracker Pro. Eye tracking has the potential to bring immediate enhancements to virtual reality.
The world that we live in is being forever changed by the Internet of Things (IoT). This has been taking place for a very long time. Years ago, companies began to make investments in IoT for the purpose of being able to compete better, increasing their productivity, and becoming more efficient. There are millions of people nowadays who have various devices that are connected. These could include virtual assistants as well as smart speakers, light bulbs, and thermostats.
We at Novarica speak with solution providers as part of our research efforts as we gather information for reports and our clients. We often hear of new and interesting ways companies apply technology for insurance use cases in these conversations and will feature items of interest in blog posts from time to time. Last week, Novarica spoke with a company that provides wearable devices for loss control use cases. Wearables have shown promise for tracking health-related data in the past few years. These devices have featured as part of plans with a wellness focus--like John Hancock offering policies that include policyholder fitness tracker data.