This article about a new mobile app from a company called Urban Engines got me thinking about how wild real-time information management is already getting, let alone what it will look like in a few years.
Their app displays real-time maps and walking directions that take into consideration current traffic and public transportation, all in an augmented reality interface on your phone. The article compares the complexity of what they’re doing to Facebook finding connections in a sea of Likes, or internet ad engines displaying banner ads (in microseconds) that match what you’ve been browsing.
Like many companies, Urban Engines built a new kind of spatial database they call the Space/Time Engine to tackle the very specific problem they’re solving. We’ve been moving in this direction for some time now, between the emergence of multiple types of CEP engines and the plethora of open source tools that each process stream-based data differently, depending on what you’re trying to accomplish.
The often overlooked part of any system designed to process large amounts of real-time data is the ingress of data from many event sources and egress to many stream processing engines. This is where Solace is frequently plugged in to the architecture, as no commercial or open source technology can reliably move the volume of data between more types of endpoints than Solace does for its many big data customers.
I doubt that “The Internet of Moving Things” will catch on as a term, but it is fun to see the creative ways that so many different sources of continuously changing real-time information are being combined to deliver value to users.