MIS4596: Information Systems Integration (Spring 2017)

Instructor: David Schuff, Section 003

Smart Lights Quickly Approaching

With our final case study we dove into the world of IoT technology. IoT could soon be in most aspects of our lives, from our bodies with wearables to the kitchen with smart appliances. One technology that may swoop in under the radar before we all realize is smart lights. Some are predicting that in the next 5 to 10 years, smart lights will have the largest growth of all IoT technologies. As these lights get cheaper, smarter, and more energy-efficient, they will soon be replacing all incandescent bulbs and compact fluorescent lamps, and become the “default”. This is expected to happen in not only the US, but all over the world, with growth in countries like India expected to be over 30 per cent annually from 2015-2020. This raises some questions also. How quickly are we going to see our houses and everyday objects move to IoT? Will we even notice, or will society adjust quickly and adopt these new technologies as “default?

Source: http://tech.firstpost.com/news-analysis/coming-5-10-years-will-see-smart-lights-as-the-biggest-iot-consumption-device-368676.html


Too Lazy to Wear

In a recent survey done by the health insurance company, Max Bupa, the company found that their has been a decline in users either wearing health related technology or using health focused apps.  The study cites numerous reasons for the decline in health related wearables and health apps.  The two major reasons were that the gadget was either inconvenient to wear or the people simply were tired of tracking the health apps.  I found this study to be interesting in relation to our most recent case study on the Internet of Things.  In the Gartner article that we had to read for class, it had mentioned that their is an expected growth in the wearable technology sector.  How might companies make either the wearables or the apps more engaging?  I know there are a few projects in our class specifically that are focusing on health related apps and wearables.  How will these apps convince people to want to use the wearables and actually use the app itself?

Link to the article:http://tech.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/technology/are-users-getting-tired-of-health-gadgets-and-apps/57699752

Is Samsung’s Smart Refrigerator Really a Smart Idea?

With Internet of Things (IoT) and home automation on the rise, Samsung recently debuted their latest smart refrigerator, The Family Hub Refrigerator. Retailing at $6,000. the refrigerator comes with max. four doors, WiFi capability, an enormous touchscreen with access to numerous applications, and cameras on the inside to help one keep track of their groceries. Samsung also promised additional integrations, like access to GrubHub, Spotify, calendars, weather, and advanced voice technology commands. Many have criticized Samsung for their “sky-high asking price” and reminded them of their previous failures of smart refrigerators due to the low demand.
Personally, I think home automation is a great idea, with the exception of smart refrigerators. I only need my fridge to keep my food cold/frozen and that’s it. I have mobile devices for a reason. What do you guys think? Can you justify smart refrigerators using the Integrative Thinking framework we discussed in class?

Helping developing countries become smart cities

In class we talked out IoT technologies and the benefits they can bring, as well as integrative thinking. According to this article NASA has created a program (A World Bridge) that allows students to contribute to federal technology projects, and co-develop a smart-city platform. This platform will be used to monitor resources such as water, electricity, agricultural systems, and renewable energy. The way this program works is that students are tasked to solve real world problems. The students are taught to code, collaborate with researcher, create prototypes, and interact with APIs. Each of these projects not only help with the overall goal of achieving a way to monitor resources, but they also improve the students skills due to the fact that these projects have actual deadlines and budgets. The students use a geospatial platform called World Wind to research and gather data. World Wind is an open source platform that uses satellite, thematic and geospatial data for analysis and visualization.  The students were able to use World Wind to create one of the first tools that detects signals of earthquakes up to 48 hours in advance. This could be very beneficial in implementing to smart cities, but also to developing countries which may not be able to recover from an earthquake. Currently NASA will be using World Wind  to assist in the creation of building smart cities in the future for developing countries. So how does this work for developing countries? The developing countries will be able to access the data, which then they can use to tailor and advance functionalities to serve their urban life. My question is do you think allowing collaborate between students and researchers an effective way of tackling the problem to help developing countries become smart cities? Is geospatial information the best way to tackle the aim to create smart cities? What other resources might be needed to help developing countries become smart cities in the future?

Additional readings:https://www.devex.com/news/how-nasa-and-the-un-are-using-location-intelligence-to-build-smart-cities-in-developing-countries-89721


Integrative Thinking In Healthcare

Today the vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act was postponed due to a lack of support for the replacement bill. In garnering support and reviewing the details of the healthcare bill in preparation for the upcoming vote, Republicans need to go through the integrative thinking process. Salience: citizens, insurance companies, companies providing insurance for their employees, healthcare providers, their constituents, the Democratic Party, etc.. Causality and sequencing: how their changes affect premiums which will increase costs to citizens, how many people buy insurance, whether companies have to provide insurance, which changes will garner votes, etc.. The point where it gets complicated is that republicans need to figure out a solution with all of the causalities to each variable in mind. Every little change to the healthcare bill affects millions of people, and the bill was estimated to increase premiums, drop millions of people from healthcare coverage, and cost more on the federal budget.

Do you think that the Republicans are doing a good job utilizing integrative thinking in forming their healthcare bill solution?



Regulations and Integrative Thinking

electric car photoIt’s well documented that President Trump is not fond of regulations, but some regulations, such as in the electric car industry, can have positive effects on companies and industries, according to Farhad Manjoo of the New York Times. While some regulations do hurt businesses, that’s not always the case. Researchers have identified numerous instances where regulation expedites technological progress in the energy, electronics, and healthcare industries. The same thing is currently happening in the electric car industry. Regulations have provided an incentive for car companies to invest in new technologies to catch up to innovative companies like Tesla. This has resulted in cheaper electric cars with a larger range and better infrastructure. Consequently, electric cars are becoming more popular, and America is keeping pace with technological progress. President Trump has indicated plans to remove regulations by the Obama administration to raise vehicle’s’ fuel standards in an attempt to make America “the car capital of the world again.” Rather than having a narrow minded anti-regulation mindset, President Trump should practice integrative thinking to determine the effects of regulations on an individual basis. By examining the causality of the events surrounding these regulations, he would discover that well designed regulations can have positive effects on all stakeholders. On the other hand, some regulators also need to practice integrative thinking to identify unintended consequences of poorly planned regulations. I would highly recommend reading Manjoo’s article, which goes into much greater detail about regulations’ potential to improve business conditions. Can you think of any other examples where integrative thinking should be applied in our society?

Integrative Thinking Will Take Us to Mars



From Futurism – Off World

Successfully colonizing Mars (or living on any planet other than Earth, really) has been an idea exclusive to science fiction. In reality, achieving such a goal is exceptionally complicated, and up until recently, it was considered infeasible. However, NASA, SpaceX, Mars One, China, and the United Arab Emirates have committed to the task. Astronauts can land on Mars as early as 2020. A human colony could establish itself on the Red Planet as early as 2033. But what happens after these pioneers get there? How do they expect humans to survive on an alien planet? The answer is… They don’t know. Despite the physical dangers, social and emotional disorientation, and mental health risks salient to colonization, these leaders to Mars have chosen to make it happen. The feasibility of colonization only exists because these ambitious integrative thinkers have accepted the complexity of the task, embraced all uncertainties, and committed to solve any issues that get in the way of their goal. Would you want to be one of the first humans to live on Mars? Can you think of a way that cloud computing or IoT could be used to make Mars livable? View the infographic for details about life on Mars.


Smart Cities Provide a Myriad of Benefits


Our most recent case study was on the Internet of Things, a concept where everyday objects are connected via the Internet and able to communicate and provide new insight. In this article I read recently, it discusses how cities all across the United States are implementing sensors to improve the quality of life for its citizens.

One example the article talks about is in Bellevue, Washington, where almost all of the intersections are equipped with cameras and sensors while being able to communicate with each other. By leveraging this technology, it allows for traffic to flow smoothly and can also assist the police, EMT, and fire departments to get to their destination quicker and safely. In New York City, the NYPD recently deployed a system of audio sensors that monitor gunshots throughout the city. By triangulating the sound with multiple sensors, it can improve the response time of the police and allow cameras to shift their focus to the area the sound originated. One tangible benefit already being seen is a more accurate record of gunshots in New York. Previously, they relied on civic engagement to tally gunshots and their related crimes, but by utilizing the Internet of Things, it takes the human factor out of the equation.


Similarly, the Internet of Things is being used in connection with a city’s water supply to help curtail disease and identify the location of potential problems. By  having sensors in the pipes, they can gauge the chlorine levels to see if there is enough to prevent against diseases such as Legionnaires Disease. They can also use they sensors to detect a dramatic drop in water pressure, which indicates there was a break in the pipes at some point. This will allow the water department to send out warnings such as “boil your water” in a more accurate and time sensitive way. But systems like this are not fully integrated and still show signs of their legacy implementation. Some of the systems, such as the water department system and traffic department system still do not communicate to improve their reaction to events. For example, if there is a water main break underneath a road, a smart system would recognize this and divert traffic away from the water main, allowing the repair crew to access the problem without causing traffic throughout the area. Clearly, Smart Cities have a long way to go before they are completely integrated and working like a well oiled machine.

Are there any other ways IoT technology can be used to improve a citizen’s life? What are some of the downsides of these implementations that aren’t immediately apparent?

Smart Condos: Talk or Text?

As we have been discussing the Internet of Things in class, I found the following article very interesting. More homes are utilizing smart devices such as Alexa, Google Home, and even Siri. They are being implemented into computers, homes, and vehicles for a more unique and personal user experience by utilizing voice recognition technology. However, a small Singapore firm called Unified Inbox offers a service that allows users to pass off text messages to their appliances instead of talking to them. Several major appliance makers have partnered with Unified Inbox, including Bosch technologies. Although it represents a small portion of the internet of things market, this advancement in technology could have major impacts on the various internet of things devices. Users will be able to control any connected device including, ovens, door locks, and garage doors. As we know from the class discussions, IoT provides access points to enter the network in various places. This could lead to malicious behavior becoming easier and more apparent, as not all security measures are the same across devices.

The question to all: Do you see the rise of this technology as a positive or negative progression of IoT? Thieves could now potentially control homeowners appliances, security measures, and personal belongings all with the theft of a cell phone. Also, will this be a disruptive technology to voice-enabled devices such as Alexa and Google Home, or will the ecosystem of technology, home, and cloud enabled devices continue to grow with this technology? Phone calls are being made less frequently, relating to voice-enabled devices, and the influx of text messages is on the rise and will continue to progress with technological advancements. I think this is an interesting way to control and interpret the internet of things devices. Time will tell how well it works.


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Where and when do we meet?

Alter Hall 603
12:30-1:50 Tuesdays and Thursdays

Office Hours

David Schuff (instructor):
10:00-11:00, Tuesdays and Thursdays
Speakman Hall 207G and email (see my site)

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