IoT on the Star Ship Enterprise

Continuing on with my Star Trek binge watching, I was inspired to tie together some ideas that I’m currently working on, and have been reading more about with how it relates to Star Trek.

IoT is the next big market.  With PCs being an order of magnitude bigger than mainframe computers and Mobile devices an order bigger than PCs, IoT is perhaps the only technology hardware market with the potential to expand beyond multiples of devices per person.

In it’s usual prescient way Star Trek has a good record of foretelling future technology.  In this case I’m looking at how the Enterprise uses an IoT (Internet of Things) type of technology to diagnose and control the entire ship.

This is particularly obvious with how the sensors throughout the ship monitor everything.  Fire in engineering – you bet they have sensors for that. Oxygen sensors in every room – got those too.  At any particular time the computer can produce a report on any of these systems and do some data processing to find anything outside normal operating parameters.

Environmental sensors are just a small part though.  Every engineering component, cable, or power conduit is able to report on it’s operating status,  Geordi is able to query every piece of equipment for it’s efficiency reports and re-configure just about anything  with his tablet and tricorder.

Imagine a future where everything in your house can self diagnose itself to monitor for efficiency and errors.  That all of those things report back to a central location to raise alerts if they need servicing.  If all the information could be self introspected by each device and then presented in a way that normal users could understand it would completely change the way we live.

The more we get connected like this it will become exponentially more useful.

Also, holy crap things change quickly.  The first Mainframe computer came out in the late 1950s, the first PC in 1981, the iPhone in 2007 and we are now rapidly maturing the smartphone platform and seeing the start of IoT devices enter the market in 2015.  It’ll be crazy to see just how fast this next wave of technology takes over.