The Looming Big Data Challenge

The integration and management of data has become a leading concern of today's businesses. A small metering gadget called Twine reflects leading trends in this burgeoning sector.

The integration and management of data has become a leading concern of today's businesses. A small metering gadget called Twine reflects leading trends in this burgeoning sector.

The wi-fi gadget Twine doesn’t look like much. It’s shorter than a pencil and looks like a square of sky-blue glass or maybe a translucent bar of soap.

Its marketing tagline is simple: "Listen to your world, talk to the Internet." And therein lies the problem, because despite its unassuming appearance, devices like Twine, with their endless chatter to the Internet, will likely constitute the next big challenge in data integration and management.

Created by two graduates of the MIT Media Lab, the tiny Wi-Fi gadget includes a number of sensors — temperature, accelerometer for vibrations — with plans to add more sensors, including a moisture sensor to detect dampness. You set the conditions — the basement is wet, the dryer has stopped — and Twine sends a message — to email, to Twitter, to wherever you choose using the Spool Web app — whenever those conditions are met.

Twine is still in the fundraising stages — its production is being crowdsourced — but it’s exactly the type of gadget that will create the “Internet of Things” — devices that are embedded with sensors to detect and send via Web services.

By the end of this decade, with conservative estimates at more than 50 billion devices, these sensor-laden gadgets will outnumber humans online, reports GigaOM.

From manufacturing to health care to — given Twine’s pitch — your flooding basement, these devices will certainly redefine what we mean by “Big Data.” And, of course, the data they create will need to be integrated into existing infrastructures.

Read the rest about Twine and Big Data at ITBusinessEdge.




Tags: big data, metering


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