Software Above the Level of a Single Device: The Implications

Software Above the Level of a Single Device: The Implications

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When considering "the Internet of Things," it's easy to miss the bigger pattern: we are no longer just building software for individual devices, but creating networks of intelligence and action that make it possible to completely rethink how we organize work, play, and society itself. This report provides the complete text of Tim O'Reilly's insightful talk on the subject at the 2014 Solid Conference.

In one striking example, O'Reilly cites Uber, the app-based taxi service that Aaron Levie of Box.net called "a $3.5 billion lesson in building for how the world should work instead of optimizing for how the world does work." Once cab drivers and potential passengers had devices reporting their location in real time, it became possible to rethink urban transportation.

Similarly, O'Reilly notes, when GE designs jet engines that report when they need maintenance, the notion of the "maintenance schedule" goes out the window. Manufacturing, logistics, transportation, healthcare are all ripe for the "Solid revolution." That revolution isn't just about designing smart stuff, and dumb stuff that can be built with smart tools, it's about designing software and systems above the level of a single device, software that completely transforms industries.

Download this report and learn why it's time for the most prodigious feats of imagination—applying hardware, software, big data, sociology, and creativity to redesign processes and institutions, not just things.

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Tim O'Reilly

Tim O'Reilly

Tim O'Reilly is the founder and CEO of O'Reilly Media Inc. Considered by many to be the best computer book publisher in the world, O'Reilly Media also hosts conferences on technology topics, including the O'Reilly Open Source Convention, Strata: The Business of Data, the Velocity Conference on Web Performance and Operations, and many others. Tim's blog, the O'Reilly Radar "watches the alpha geeks" to determine emerging technology trends, and serves as a platform for advocacy about issues of importance to the technical community. Tim is also a partner at O'Reilly AlphaTech Ventures, O'Reilly's early stage venture firm, and is on the board of Safari Books Online, PeerJ, Code for America, and Maker Media, which was recently spun out from O'Reilly Media. Maker Media's Maker Faire has been compared to the West Coast Computer Faire, which launched the personal computer revolution.