Earlier this month, I was at the local zoo visiting a special exhibit called Xtreme BUGS. It was the last place I expected to find connected tech, but perhaps I shouldn’t have been so surprised. The exhibit features giant, motorized models of bugs—bees, ants, etc.—doing bug things and making bug noises, but the point of the exhibit is to teach guests about these creatures’ habitats, food sources, and survival mechanisms.
To do this, the exhibit creators placed placards near the models, similar to the exhibits we expect to see at a zoo. However, Xtreme BUGS takes it a step further, inviting guests to use their connected devices to make the exhibit more interactive. Nearly every display had a sign with a QR code, inviting guests to scan the code and watch a video that showed the bug in action in the wild.
I was thrilled. As soon as I noticed the codes, I whipped out my smartphone, opened my QR-code-reading app and began scanning each code, playing the videos for my family as they gathered around my device. It was a whole new zoo experience—one my future children will likely see as the norm.
What really got me thinking was how the same underlying technology that taught my family about African Ants during our zoo outing is the same technology the Connected World team recently saw on display during a tour of Motorola Solutions’ Innovation Center. The difference is, this time, the tech was being used as part of a connected warehouse solution to improve operational efficiencies and worker productivity.
When applied to an enterprise scenario, connected 1D/2D scanning devices that harness Bluetooth and/or Wi-Fi connectivity allow workers to scan barcodes (sometimes from a distance, such as in the warehouse scenario), and send the data embedded in that code to the company’s backend system.
At Connected World, this is what we’re all about. We cover the underlying M2M (machine-to-machine) technology that enables a connected solution. Whether that solution is used to make a zoo outing more fun, or to improve a business’ bottomline, it’s connected, and that’s what makes it great.