If you read Game of Things – GoT vs. IoT Season 1, you know I go to work at an IoT startup, I go home to watch Thrones, and I’m having a hard time keeping the two worlds separate.
I finished Season 2 faster than I’d like to admit. For those of you who are well ahead of me and thinking of Season 2 as a distant memory, here’s a helpful and hilarious recap. *Spoilers* Basically, everyone is fighting for the crown, Daenerys and her army are dehydrated in the desert, and Jon Snow is officially venturing beyond the wall.
How would the season have been different for these characters if they had IoT on their side?
Drones have been hailed as the future of IoT, promising benefits to agriculture, healthcare, and distribution industries. They’re also a growing threat (or asset) in combat, both for surveillance and for carrying out strikes.
Drones are unmanned, but carry many sensors including cameras, GPS and infra-red imaging. As a surveillance tool, some drones can hover for more than 17 hours straight, capturing images of video of the environments and activities on the ground.
A major issue that influences the Starks’ war strategy and causes tension between Robb and Catelyn, is the lack of knowledge on the whereabouts of the Stark children. Bran and Rickon are in Winterfell, Sansa is in King’s Landing, and Arya is wandering around the countryside posing as a boy.
Modern surveillance or GPS technology could have helped in some of these cases.
Let’s imagine that after Robb discovered his mother let Jamie loose, he could send out a drone (or a few) to survey the land around their campsite and track him down before he could get too far. Many drones now have facial recognition technology, meaning they could locate him quickly and precisely, even if he was hiding in a crowded area.
This technology could have been used to determine that Arya was never at King’s Landing in the first place, eliminating Jamie as a trade and keeping him hostage.
Alternatively, the Stark family could have tracked her down even more easily with the wearable technology we have access to today. GPS trackers specifically for kids have special features like geofencing and SOS buttons, and are compact enough to fit on backpacks or to wear as a watch. GPS-enabled wearables would have helped the Stark family’s peace of mind and provided information on Arya to strategically use Jamie.
Mapping the Red Waste and the North
As Daenerys traveled through the Red Waste with her remaining army, threatened by death if they didn’t find food or water, she sent out two men to get the lay of the land. Later on, one of the horses returned with the severed head of its rider, seen as a threat from one of her enemies. They are then forced to take shelter in Quarth, where the members of the Council of Thirteen conspire against them to steal her dragons and imprison her for life.
With an “eye in the sky”, Daenerys and Jorah could have mapped out the areas surrounding the Red Waste in order to make a more informed decision and find the best place to take shelter with their army.
The men of the Nights Watch, equipped with drone surveillance technology, could venture beyond the wall, specifically avoiding wildling communities and armies of white walkers by capturing real-time images of the land. Maybe their direbots (GoT-era voice assistants that I completely made up in my last post) could process information from the drone and direct Jon Snow and his men to their destination accordingly.
Just as any technology can be used for good or for evil, Theon could have used surveillance technology to find and kill Bran and Rickon, or the Lannisters could have similarly tracked down Arya and kept her hostage as they did with Sansa. Tyrion, equipped with drones to carry out missile strikes on Stannis, would have taken him out even more quickly, and this technology in Joffrey’s hands would have been a disaster. In these cases, I’m thankful for their lack of technology.
Keep an eye out for my recap of Season 3 with an IoT twist!