The Gillmor Gang discussed sensors and notifications in smartphones in its latest conversation.

If you’re not familiar with the Gillmor Gang, it’s a long-running podcast/videocast conversation about the technology industry principally around, but not limited to, Silicon Valley. The “Gang” is a fluid group of entrepreneurs, pundits, reporters. Steve Gillmor was an editor at InfoWorld many years ago (when I read it religiously).

I prefer this discussion/argument over Leo LaPorte’s This Week in Tech (TWIT) from which I have unsubscribed. There used to be several more of these, but I’ve settled on Gillmor Gang and Tekzilla right now for tech news.

Early tech blogger and videographer Robert Scoble pointed out that the typical smart phone contains seven sensors. Now mix in the built-in ability to send all that personal data somewhere where software can analyze the data and put it in context. Add in a pinch of context. Then couple to a notification engine. Now you know where tech is going in the consumer world.

The question for us is where that’s going in the industrial/manufacturing world. Can our sophisticated automation systems and information systems take advantage of this?

We call “notifications” “alarms” in our world. But that is primarily for operators. What if we had better notifications in context for every team member from division manager to maintenance tech?

What if we could track movements, history, clicks, location, and serve up useful notifications and data?

What if we could add more sensors about the ambient environment–sounds, smells, chemical composition of the atmosphere? Maybe by adding video, record such things as leaks, pools of liquid? And add all that to the data warehouse?

Why am I sitting here at my favorite little Italian restaurant in Piqua, OH writing this and not writing some apps? Hmm, that’s a good question!

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