Sensors in Elevators Send Alerts
Sensors in Elevators Send Alerts
Britannica focused on its centuries‐old tradition of providing information in richly bound tomes sold to the public through a well‐trained sales force. Only when it was threatened with its very survival did Encyclopedia Britannica grasp the need to separate the economics of information from economics of things and sell bits of information online. Clearly, Encyclopedia Britannica’s business strategy, like that of many other companies, needed to reflect the difference between the economics of things from the economics of information.
Internet of Things More recently, a new concept has emerged to describe the explosive growth in the data generated by sensors traveling over the Web. The Internet of things (IoT) is the term used to refer to machines and sensors talking to each other over the network, taking Evans and Wurster’s concepts even further. Although the term IoT was coined in1999,11 it was not widely discussed until the current decade. The earliest example of its functions was reported before the Internet even existed—in a Coke machine at Carnegie Mellon University in the mid‐1970s. Staff mem- bers and students in the Computer Science Department were able to use a network connecting a minicomputer and sensors in the machine to monitor not only the machine’s inventory but even which button to push for the coldest bottles.12
A more broadly used early application of IoT was provided by Otis Elevator in the late 1980s and later copied by most other elevator companies.13 Sensors in elevators send alerts over a network to a service center’s computer when parts need replacing, and service technicians arrive without the builder owner knowing about the potential problem. Extending IoT even further, today’s elevator systems alert handheld devices of nearby repair technicians who then visit the elevator to make the repair. Devices may connect to the Internet over a wireless connection or through a hard‐wired connection.
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