Robots and Smart Devices in IT is reporting on some of the predictions coming out of this week’s Gartner IT Expo. Specifically, experts are predicting that robots and “sensor-rich” devices may soon play a major role in IT. Jackie Fenn, a Gartner analyst, believes that IT products will get smarter in the coming years. Integrating arrays of sensors to monitor properties and operating conditions, they will be able to communicate back through the network their status, usage, and even if they have been damaged. Gartner suggests this will allow businesses to actually charge their customers based on how they use a particular piece of equipment. His example is that of an auto insurance company that has access to actual driver performance data via onboard vehicle sensors.

He also goes on to point out the ever-increasing prevalence of networked robots and how they will affect the role of IT support personnel. His views seem fully supported by Hewlett-Packard Co. CEO Mark Hurd who says that all of these technologies will lead to “human-less” data centers.

Their opinions were met with some skeptism, but Gartner believes most IT companies do not plan beyond the next 18 months and may have a hard time accepting the accelerating evolution of these technologies.

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