When IoT Keeps People in the Loop
While the IoT has made significant progress supporting individual machine-type applications, it is only recently that the importance of people as an integral component of the overall IoT infrastructure has started to be fully recognized. Several powerful concepts have emerged to facilitate this vision, whether involving the human context whenever required or directly impacting user behavior and decisions. As these become the stepping stones to develop the IoT into a novel people-centric utility, this article outlines a path to realize this decisive transformation. We begin by reviewing the latest progress in human-aware wireless networking, then classify the attractive human-machine applications and summarize the enabling IoT radio technologies. We continue with a unique system-level performance characterization of a representative urban IoT scenario and quantify the benefits of keeping people in the loop on various levels. Our comprehensive numerical results confirm the significant gains that have been made available with tighter user involvement, and also corroborate the development of efficient incentivization mechanisms, thereby opening the door to future commoditization of the global people-centric IoT utility.