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Internet of Substances

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Today’s Internet-of-Things/Industrial Internet buzz is mostly centered around traditional and tangible physical objects, such as smart wristbands, environmental sensors or vehicles. This is all good and incrementally beneficial, but in order to truly innovate we need to look beyond Things. 

Already now, substances like paper and oil can be infused with sensing particles, which can generate accurate measurements when exposed to suitable magnetic fields. In other words, these substances can be spimed and adapted to customer needs in a totally new way.

I can easily envision an oil company starting to automatically tailor refinery products even per customer, given that customers’ equipment would be collecting data from the marker particles. A logical place for this sensor is the fuel/oil (paper) filter, which is easily made smart and connected, even in legacy equipment. As a bonus, filters would finally be changed dynamically, not based on timetables.

In this scenario, an amount of consumed oil or fuel is spimed, with its past and present performance always stored. Thinking further, the filter assembly may even change the fluid characteristics with suitable catalysts or electrical current, completing the spime circle.

Although I tend to take an industrial approach, first liquid spimes might as well be consumer products. Spime lager, anyone?

//Pasi

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