Smart Fruit: The Internet of Things Goes Bananas

In a recent talk by entrepreneur and researcher Amber Case, she was painting the picture of a future kitchen dystopia where incompatibilities between your smart refrigerator and your smart stove would cause your smart toaster to keep you from using your smart dishwasher. All of this trauma and drama, so that you can have a computer tell you whether your bananas are ripe.

“Bananas have their own built-in ripeness indicator,” she said in exasperation. “They literally change color. It’s a great system.” As it turns out, in our quickening quest for the Internet of Things, we’ve had smart fruit all along.

As most technologists know, companies, big and small, are driving toward the Internet of Things (IoT) — a world in which every device has sensors and is connected. Aimed at making data work more seamlessly in the world and in the enterprise, the IoT movement is affecting everything from wearables and medical devices to home automation and HVAC systems. In our quest for bigger and new, it is important that we not take for granted the natural sensors in our world and intrinsic motivations of the people using these devices.

I am looking out of my window at a beautiful autumn day in Oregon. The leaves are signaling the season in a naturally zero-energy (solar-powered!), renewable and sustainable — not to mention repeatable — process wrapped in a beautiful industrial design precisely tuned to its purpose. Let that inspire our efforts to innovate.

This article was published by InfoComm International.