David Stephenson

W. David Stephenson is a leading Gov./Enterprise 2.0-3.0 strategist, theorist and writer. He particularly focuses on the Internet of Things, strategic use of XBRL, homeland security and disaster management, and ways to directly involve the public in policy and services debate and delivery. He is principal of Stephenson Strategies and is a consultant with the UK-based The Internet of People.

It’s time to move to real-time regulation

The Internet of Things allows for real-time data monitoring, which is crucial to regulatory reform.

One under-appreciated aspect of the changing relationship between the material world and software is that material goods can and will fail — sometimes with terrible consequences.

What if government regulations were web-based and mandated inclusion of Internet-of-Things technology that could actually stop a material failure, such as a pipeline rupture or automotive failure, while it was in its earliest stages and hadn’t caused harm? Even more dramatically, what if regulations could even prevent failures from happening at all?

With such a system, we could avoid or minimize disasters — from Malaysia Airlines Flight 370’s disappearance to the auto-safety debacles at GM to a possible leak if the Keystone XL pipeline is built — while the companies using this technology could simultaneously benefit in a variety of profitable ways. Read more…

The Internet of Things: enabling the era of precision manufacturing

When the Internet of Things is fully implemented in factories, the benefits will be varied and far-reaching.

Remember pictures from old factories where a low-level employee roamed the factory floor on a regular schedule, writing down on a clipboard readings from gauges and other instruments? Who knows when his supervisor ever looked at the results, and what value they actually had to monitoring and optimizing performance.

Fast forward to GE’s Durathon battery factory in Schenectady, where 10,000 sensors on the assembly line — plus others embedded in each battery — report components’ status on a real-time basis, which a manager can read instantly on her iPad as she roams the factory floor — data that can also be shared in real-time with others throughout management, product design and other departments.

This and other prototype factories worldwide are building a new era of precision manufacturing (some call it “Industry 4.0”) that will cut operating costs and resource use, bring about unprecedented integration of the factory with the supply chain and distribution networks, continue companies’ relationships with customers far beyond the point of sale, and even create profitable new revenue streams. Read more…