I was at the SVC Wireless conference this weekend, and caught the Internet of Things panel. A decent amount of the conversation revolved around revamping the power grid. Despite hearing about “concerns about the new SmartMeters here in California” on the news a number of times, it wasn’t till this weekend that I learned that the SmartMeters are a mesh sensor network. Last time I heard about these bits of technology it was very much research, and at the time folks were calling it smartdust. Nice to see it has worked its way out into practical applications, unfortunate to see the crackpots causing so many issues with the application.
It made me think a lot about the shifting mindshare (or maybe share of attention?) going on in mobile. Back in 2003 and 2004 stuff like ubiquitous computing, RFID, and sensor networks were part of common conversation for just about everyone “working in mobile”. In 2010 when you mention mobility iPhone and Android pop to mind immediately, and the discussion only infrequently makes it outside of handset technologies. The attention goes where the money flows, not abnormal. But I was somewhat surprised to realize how long its been since I’ve thought about some of these things. And in some cases surprised to see how far some of the technologies have come even though they’re progressing effectively under the radar.