The “Internet of Things” (IoT) refers to the ongoing process of connecting our everyday things, like vacuum cleaners, coffee makers, and the like, to the Internet.  Like all things, this has a lot of pluses, but also some minuses.  @CleanApp believes in the awesome potential of IoT, and a big part of what motivates us is the desire to see IoT done right in the cleaning space.  What will CleanApp@IoT look like?

A few examples:

Alexa, CleanApp the kitchen when I leave for work.”

This should result in Alexa activating a particular set of CleanApp commands to direct CleanApp-enabled devices (like Samsung robovacs or iRobot robomops) to perform cleaning services in the “kitchen,” as that area is defined by the owner.

Siri, CleanApp the bathroom.”

What the owner wants to happen is to have all CleanApp-enabled IoT devices to perform cleaning services in the bathroom. This doesn’t just mean cleaning floors. In 2018, there are already autonomous vertical surface cleaners (for windows/mirrors/walls) for the consumer market that will continue to get more and more connectivity.  CleanApp integration is designed to keep things safe & uncomplicated for the user.

Ok Google, CleanApp the living room.”

See above.  There will naturally be a learning process as Google Nest/Home services learn what you mean when you say “living room,” in your particular language, dialect, accent, while munching on a bagel.  But the point is, if you’re comfortable having a BigTech provider in your pocket and in your home, chances are you’ll be willing to consider the additional value BigTech can offer you with CleanApp.

“Cortana, can you please CleanApp the garage.”

If a user has spent hundreds of dollars on tech that can be “controlled” by Cortana or “integrated with” Cortana, and/or is paying a subscription rate for IoT services, what the user wants is for Cortana to say, “Yes, Xiaochen, CleanApp’s starting now…” and for Cortana to deploy CleanApp-enabled devices to the task of cleaning the garage to the best of the cleaning devices’ abilities.

IOT Pitfalls

Here’s what the user does NOT want to hear:

“Uh oh, Larry, it looks like we can’t connect the AppleVac to Cortana because of interoperability issues. Please hold while I connect you to a chatbot who can try to resolve this issue. I’m so sorry for this inconvenience.”

2018-2020 customers are already demanding seamless connectivity and frictionless user-oriented services; from 2020+, this is just the baseline expectation. BigTech can anticipate and satisfy this demand, or get disrupted by competitors who are more attuned to what consumers need.

“Bixby, CleanApp the office space.”

And here is where things get reaaallly interesting. Because we all know that this command can mean any number of things. It can mean at least three plain-language things:

  1. you want Bixby to send CleanApp responders (robovacs/robomops/cleanappdrones) to the office where you work, to clean the space;
  2. you want Bixby to send CleanApp responders to your home office;
  3. you want Bixby to CleanApp “Office Space” from your file registries on your computers/clouds;
  4. etc.

In an ideal world, IoT AI would evolve alongside us & learn our individual preferences, subjective meanings, and actual habits.  But we also know that there will be a transition period during which BigTech AI will have to harmonize & standardize services, particularly when we talk about voice commands.

It may be that you want “Shazam this song” to actually mean “Create a new contact named ‘Shazam'”

– but for now, when you ask a digital assistant to “Shazam this song” what happens is a more or less predetermined set of responses: the well-known Shazam app is launched in the background and Shazam generates a song result.  CleanApp operates on the same principle.

IOT Potential

By this point, it should be clear what the user wants.  The user wants all the operational devices that can perform CleanApp services to perform CleanApp services in the living room.  What the user does NOT want to do is spend time configuring/troubleshooting/securing/updating/worrying.  The user trusts Google or Amazon or Apple or Samsung, or Shazam for that matter, with its private data, and these tech providers yield huge dividends as a result of this trust.  IoT integration should proceed along similar lines.

BigTech knows that the contemporary tech landscape is about giving users streamlined solutions to real world problems.  CleanApp to cleanup is as streamlined a solution as they get.  And, it goes without saying, each of the examples above is just illustrative.  The real scalable gains for BigTech become apparent when one considers the AI/ML implications of billions of users interacting with CleanApp-type services through multiple interconnected devices.

“Siri, CleanApp this park bench.” where what’s happening in the background isn’t just an iPhone or iWatch trying to figure out which park bench you want to generate a CleanApp report for, but the Apple devices also interacting with the helmet or lapel-mounted GoPro you’re sporting, or the AmazonGlasses you’re wearing, working together to give the user exactly what the user wants.

This isn’t science fiction, folks. Each of the above scenarios is using 2017 off-the-shelf tech. We’re just trying to make sure it’s developing in a coherent way for the next generation of user demands and sets of user-driven experiences.

See also