Any sufficiently advanced technology is equivalent to magic. – Arthur C. Clarke
If you are reading this, you are probably pretty into technology in general.  Maybe you like Big Data and you cannot lie; either way this tech stuff is your thing.
But you’re a human.  We humble humans have accomplished some incredible feats with our advancements in technology and can say that much of this tech is actually now helping us live longer, more comfortable lives.  Whether we think deeply about that fact as a motivation to continue to innovate varies widely, but I had a personal reminder of this astounding truth this weekend that inspired me.
You may already know about the Big Data Beard’s upcoming Road Trip to Splunk’s .conf19 where we are taking an RV, outfitting with a bunch of IoT tech, Splunking all that data, and creating a bunch of content along the way.  This whole trip is designed to inspire folks to realize how easy it can be to leverage machine generated data for valuable insights with Splunk and that it takes an ecosystem of technology partners to scale and deploy that capability broadly in enterprises with our great sponsors Dell Technologies, VMware, Red River Technologies, Arrow Electronics and Converging Data.  The star of this whole show is the RV.  It’s a 40 foot long beauty of a coach that will be transformed into a rolling recording studio and playground for us nerds with a ton of IoT kit.
This awesome RV belongs to my Dad.   He’s a fellow technologist who’s spent his career helping organizations solve data management problems as platforms and tools have evolved since the 1970’s.  And he looks great in a Big Data Beard T-Shirt!!!
This past weekend my family and I went to Bartlesville, Oklahoma to pick up that RV and visit with my Dad.  We were all planning to enjoy some time in their new pool when my Dad shared that he couldn’t get in.  While my Dad has had cardiac issues in the past, he has been recently plagued by a yet unexplained irregular heart beat that causes symptoms similar to a heart attack, but none of the typical signs support that this is the case.  The reason he could not join us for a swim was that he’s wearing new heart rate monitor for the next 30 days that is not completely water proof.  This little IoT EKG from BioTel is connected with a smartphone app to record his heart rate over a month for the doctors to eventually review.  While awesome from a tech evolution perspective, it is pretty common place today to have EKG devices connected to your iPhone.
The most intriguing aspect of this little setup was the app itself.  A simple button on this dedicated smartphone allows my Dad to signal when he is experiencing the symptoms that have evaded proper diagnosis until now.
Think about that…how many times do we struggle sharing with our doctors exactly what we are feeling in a moment.  We typically have to recount a feeling once we have made it to a medical facility and often the issue has passed.  This simple connection of a data logger and a flag is powerful.  Powerful in a way that may help cardiologists save my Dad’s life.
Its not an incredibly complicated implementation of technology, but it is a thoughtful one.  That’s the idea.  Much of the technology we need to solve the biggest challenges to human existence or those in our own businesses probably already exists.  We simply need inspired ideas of how to solve problems and good technologists willing to tinker until that come up with a simple solution.  While we certainly won’t be saving any lives with our Road Trip and the IoT RV, it is our sincere hope that it inspires you to take a closer look at the massive amount of machine generated data in the world and leverage it to solve problems and gain valuable insights.
We think Splunk has built one of the most powerful platforms to do just that and their focus on making it easy to solve real enterprise challenges makes it easy to adopt in the enterprise.  Our use case of IoT in the RV is meant to show just that.  It might be useful to inspire you to think about preventative maintenance use cases or customer experience.  Whatever you think about this Road Trip, we hope you leave with just a little more inspiration to use technology for good.  Good times, good money, or the good of humanity….me and my Dad are counting on y’all.
Tune in to all the conversations happening at part of the Big Data Beard’s Road Trip to Splunk .conf19 by clicking here.
Join us each morning of the Road Trip at 10AM ET for “Breakfast with The Beards” by subscribing to our YouTube channel.
Again, we thank all of our sponsors for making this happen.  And a big thanks to my Dad for having a sweet RV and for inspiring me.
Your bearded friend,