Dr John Barrett on how IoT could be used to predict the future

8 Oct 2015

Dr John Barrett. Image via Connor McKenna

As one of the nation’s leading authorities on the topic of all things internet of things (IoT), Dr John Barrett, Head of Academic Studies at the Nimbus Centre, talks about predicting the future and where we go from here.

IoT Makers Week

As one of the leading proponents of internet of things (IoT) technology – not just in Ireland, but globally – Dr John Barrett is certainly excited about its revolutionary potential.

As Head of Academic Studies at the Nimbus Centre, based in Cork Institute of Technology (CIT), he spoke to Siliconrepublic.com about how, with the right development and applications, IoT could one day help us predict the future.

Before we get there, however, he says, we have to ensure that the trifecta of companies, government and public are protected from harm when billions of internet-connected devices exist on the planet.

Certainly from his perspective, it would appear that the power of data gathered through the myriad devices that exist even today in IoT offers so much in terms of predictive analytics that it can, effectively, predict the future.

“Many of the applications are literally about trying to predict the future,” Dr Barrett says. “We can think, for instance, of the application of predictive maintenance, as opposed to preventative maintenance – monitors in cars, machinery, equipment, and even our bodies, to identify the earliest stages of possible wear-out and breakdown.”

Having been a technologist for over 30 years, Dr Barrett is quite frank about how our improvement of technology should not just be limited to a new gadget or app, but should be something that has a genuine life-changing response when introduced globally.

“I’m getting to the stage where I’d like to think that technology could be more beneficial and really improve people’s quality of life [through IoT], not just more gadgets for the already gadget-saturated rich.”

IoT Makers Week will explore the internet of things revolution and the makers driving it with reports on Siliconrepublic.com from 5 to 9 October 2015. Get updates by subscribing to our news alerts or following @siliconrepublic and the hashtag #IoTMakersWeek on Twitter.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic