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Internet of Things

What is IoT?

November 14, 2017

Personally, I hate acronyms. I think smart people create them just to frustrate simple people like me. IoT is the Internet of Things, not to be confused with IoE, the Internet of Everything, which is another subject. It is basically all physical things connected through the internet: smart devices, smart phones, smart cars, not so smart refrigerators, smart shoes, etc. A lot of these devices are considered edge devices; however, most are not really that smart. They just contain some sensor or chip that allows for some communication back to a smarter device, for instance your smart shoes (not really smart) talking to your smart phone, which is basically the equivalent of yesteryear’s super computer.

A few months back, I went and geeked out at an IoT convention in Vegas. There were two full days of connected this to that. I went there more for telematics (connected cars) but was exposed to so much more. I was exposed to smart cities, smart agriculture, how supply chain will change dramatically, as well as how connected cars will influence today’s drivers. There were buzz words like big data, AI, edge devices, block chain, and telematics. All words I am now becoming very familiar with.

I could write 18,000 pages on what I saw and my thoughts, but I don’t feel the need, nor do I think you would read it. I do think you, as a shop owner, should be consuming as much data as you can on it now to be prepared for the future.

Here is one of the greatest applications and scenarios I heard at this conference that will affect us as a society soon on so many levels. There is one clothing/shoes manufacturer that has smart shoes out on the market. They also have a few fitness apps you can download on your phone. Using big data (all the data they are collecting from smart shoes and the fitness app) and applying some AI (artificial intelligence to help trend the data and find patterns), they can determine not only when their consumer is ready for a new pair of shoes but custom fit those shoes due to the consumer’s walking, running, in step, shoe habits, etc. Wow, this will take sales to a whole new customized level.

What is IoT? Something you should become familiar with sooner rather than later.

Chris Cloutier

Chris Cloutier

Architect/President at

As an auto repair shop owner of Golden Rule Auto Care, Chris Cloutier realized the need for a better way to communicate with his customers as he observed how communication gaps created bottleneck situations and wasted valuable rack time. With 20+ years experience as a software developer including employment stints at Southwest Airlines and Wyndham International, Chris had seen the benefits of the marriage of software and customer service.  With the entrepreneurial passion to create an innovative solution to solve a common industry problem, Chris designed autoflow, a tool that dually functions as a visual workflow management system and as a means for keeping customers engaged and informed by providing status updates throughout the stages of the vehicle repair process. Click here to read more…

Chris Cloutier