Let’s Make Zense

Zense is not a word in any dictionary.  Yet, how could we make sense of something that is not even defined.  Why we care anyway?  If you Google the word, let’s say it is a word, surprisingly you would find the word is used, in one case, to associate the outcome of your feel after the tasting of selective food, or it is the name of a Cafe in Hong Kong, that Cafe Zense does produce a delicious menu of desserts and curated coffees.  Let’s hear our side of the story.

IoT is more noisier than ever.  We remember the upticks of RFID in early 2000, and we did jump in to enable that left jacket pane of a high-end suit to be an IoT in the garment supply chain.  The visibility of supply chain items, from the Italy fabrics, the final sewing of all pieces of a high-end suit jacket, to the final replenishment of that particular jacket to the designated retail shop that puts in the order to the warehouse just an hour ago. The passive RFID tag on each jacket pane brings item level identification, making it a unique IoT, or a visibility item, if detected (by an RFID reader).

In general, an IoT, either by itself or attached to a physical object, carries a sensor, that senses and digitalizes some ambient element of the environment, somehow transmits the data with its built-in communication capability.

We go about our daily routines, be it along the route we always take going to work, or that flight leaving daily from an airport to its destination, or the freshly picked cherries on route to a market that is 8,000 miles away.

The sensor has the ability to sense. For example, in a sensors network, a sensor called, e.g., a temperature module such as that offered for arduino1, can detect a heat index of the surrounding environment, and if the Fahrenheit metric is used, the sensor can be designed to signal a value in degrees of Fahrenheit. The known degree value could mean differently.  Just think about monitoring the storage temperature of covid-19 jab from Pfizer in the supply chain. For example, ice cream, according to one Web information resource, is best to store at  0 (zero) degrees Fahrenheit or lower, but at serving, it is ok to be around 5-10 degrees. So the temperature sensed should be converted to a some text, rather than just a numeric value, for the human to understand the implication, if the temperature is ideal at this point, etc.  Such conversion of a numeric value to a textual information will be processed off sensor site likely.  The off-site processing basically is trying to offer a peace of mind to the end-user who is receiving such sensor data.  The calmness, or such state we called ‘zense,’ can be gained with IoT technology adoption.

From IoT to zense is challenging in areas of communications technology, computing at edge or cloud or even fog as some may claim, and the proper installation of sensors and the networks. This IoT topic is likely be a few main focus in this blog.