As I’ve frequently mentioned, I’m a Grade A gadget geek, and require little excuse to get a new gadget, especially when it can be couched as something that aids fitness, and has an IT-management spin. I’ve spent the last couple of weeks running with Motorola’s Android-powered Motoactv fitness watch. It’s a neat device in that it interfaces with my existing heart-rate strap, plays MP3s to bluetooth-connected headphones, and even contains a WiFi radio that uploads workout data automagically when I return from a run.
It’s a nice feature set, and frankly amazes me that all of this fits in a watch-sized package. From an IT management perspective, you have a highly connected device sporting Bluetooth, ANT+ (a fitness device radio standard), GPS, and WiFi, all running on a connected, standards-based operating system at a commodity price, that fits in a water resistant, watch-sized case. This would have been unfathomable a decade ago, in a world of proprietary industrial controllers that cost the same as dozens of Motoactvs.
At these price points and feature sets, the world of “an internet of things” seems more of a possibility. Think of the capabilities (and management challenges) of tiny connected devices that could be embedded in everything from a machine on the shop floor, to a shipping container, each device reporting anything from location, to the status of various connected sensors. A device like the Motoactv not only represents the future of IT, but shows that innovation is truly happening in the consumer space, both in terms of capabilities and increasingly commoditized pricing.