To say that Kevin Link, senior vice president and GM China at Verizon Telematics, lives in a connected world is a bit of an understatement, and not in terms of the number of Twitter followers, but in the number of connected devices. In addition to the requisite tablet, smart phone and connected car – the latter is not surprising given his line of work – what’s more impressive is the ecosystem of apps, devices and other gizmos that Link has access to via his car connecting his family to him, to each other and virtually everything.
While driving to his lake house recently at the start of a holiday weekend, Link and his wife could not recall if they had enough eggs in their refrigerator to bake a birthday cake for their son who was planning to join them that weekend. From their car, they were able to see that their son had not yet reached a 60-mile radius of their home, which would have ruined the birthday surprise. The Links were also able to check if they had enough eggs in their refrigerator and how long they had been there. As it turned out a stop to the local convenience store was unwarranted.
Earlier today, Link shared this story during a keynote presentation titled “Where the Internet of Things Meets the Road,” which he delivered at Telematics Detroit 2014. I spoke with him recently.
On the Internet of Things as a buzzword
“Intel says that it should be called the Internet of Everything rather than the Internet of Things as it really has no boundaries. We’re beyond things. It’s about experiences. As society becomes more mobile and spends even more time in the car, we will be able to see, sense, touch and control those experiences remotely.”
On the success of the Internet of Things
“The success of the Internet of Things is driven by its value proposition which includes safety, convenience, economies of scale, efficiency and the experiences it creates.”
According to Cisco, the Internet of Things will be a $14.4 trillion market by 2020.
On the intersection of the Internet of Things with Telematics
“The intersection of the Internet of Things and telematics falls on location, location and intent. Today, the vehicle knows where you are, and where you are going. We have to teach it intent such as knowing that it should alert your family via a text message that you are on your way home as soon as you leave the office for the day as opposed to you having to tell your car to send your family a text once you leave the office.”
On the challenges with transforming the connected car into a “learning vehicle”
“The car should be a learning vehicle. As an [auto] industry, we need to look beyond the app store and instead find ways to fine tune our existing business models, integrate the Internet of Things and adopt standards for interoperability. Without integration and standards, we will not see global adoption and security will continue to be a major risk.”
On the ubiquity of the Internet of Things
According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), by 2022 a family four will have 50 connected devices.
Link says that this is grossly underestimated. As of today, his family has 55 connected devices and counting, but what excites him more is the ubiquity of the Internet of Things.
“Estimates say that in less than 10 years, there will be at least two devices for every person on earth. What this means is that we will see connections in underdeveloped countries, and that’s very cool.”
Editor’s Note: Verizon Telematics works with Mercedes Benz, Volkswagen and State Farm.