The internet of things needs to be seen as a real and tangible opportunity for making an impact in our lives and not some abstract concept, says Intel vice-president Philip Moynagh.
In May, Moynagh was one of three Irish people to be appointed vice-president at Intel and now heads up the chip giant’s internet of things group. Prior to that he was general manager of Intel’s Quark Solutions Division, where he spearheaded the creation of the first ‘Designed in Ireland’ Galileo X1000-based dev board.
“The internet of things is nothing new,” Moynagh says. “It has existed in high-end manufacturing at Intel’s semiconductor facilities for a couple of decades, where the technology has been getting better, cheaper and more effective.”
Moynagh says we are at the cusp of the merging of the first age of the internet, “the internet of screens”, where we use smartphones, PCs, tablets and other devices to make our lives better, with the second age of the internet, “the internet of things”, where connected devices intelligently strive to make our lives better.
“We are now at a point where we can deploy connected, embedded solutions into low-cost items.
“This is more than just a theory, it is a current practice.”
Moynagh highlighted the new generation of washing machines that are connected to the internet and can contact manufacturers who can send technicians out to repair the machines before the owner is even aware there is a problem.
“The intelligence in these machines can be used to do other useful things, like pre-order detergents when it looks like you are running out.”
Earlier this year, Intel committed to turning Dublin into the world’s very first internet of things city, deploying sensors to help manage areas, such as the environment, energy and traffic.
The key to IoT: keep it tangible
“The key is to keep it tangible. It’s the internet of things, not the internet of abstract ideas.
“The idea of a smart city is such a big concept. But it is just made up of smart things, such as connected washing machines, or cars at traffic lights.”
Moynagh says technologies are emerging that could improve the efficiency of cars passing through traffic lights by linking them together in almost train convoys to improve the efficiency of traffic.
“We could dramatically improve the amount of traffic by allowing connected things, such as cars, to interact with each other.”
He says cars can also be made more intelligent to make up for driver distraction and thus keep pedestrians and other drivers and passengers safe.
“We have way too many people being killed on our roads because people aren’t paying attention. Connected intelligence in a car doesn’t get tired or need rest but can monitor the environment and operate safely.”
Moynagh adds that energy is another area that can benefit from the internet of things.
For example, washing machines can be programmed to only do a cycle when the internet tells it that electricity is at its least expensive, and electric cars can only start charging when they detect the best prices.
“We can harness the internet of things to solve problems that are enormously expensive and can have a negative impact on the environment.”
Interview with Philip Moynagh, part 1
Interview with Philip Moynagh, part 2
Philip Moynagh will be a keynote speaker at the Innovation Ireland Forum on 24 October at the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin