What is IoT?
Published 04 September 2014 by Shane Egan
In a sentence: IoT is the interconnection of smart devices via the internet.
The Internet of Things is a progression of M2M, a field that we have specialized in for over 15 years. New smart devices are being released every day but many of these are not communicating with each other.
Imagine a world where all devices communicated. Wasted food could be eradicated, energy consumption minimized, live longer… The possibilities are limitless. The technology that is required is here as is the expertise to implement such systems but society is not comfortable with it yet. We live in a world were data privacy has become a big issue and breaches of privacy are abundant. This eventually affects peoples willingness to uptake a new technology like IoT in their everyday lives. In actual fact an IoT system can be secure and robust but societies view of this is already tainted (Just look at all the recent scandals).
Unfortunately the world isn’t as friendly as we would like and cooperation is limited
The hurdles to IoT
The Internet of Things has some very significant hurdles to overcome that are stunting the growth of the ecosystem. The hurdles are not particularly technical limitations but issues in how companies currently operate.
We all know that cost is a huge factor in consumer electronics. The cost to Internet enable a device wirelessly often runs into tens of pounds, this is OK for more expensive items such as televisions but for cheaper items this is a problem. Naturally as volume increases the price drops but who will take the initial hit?
For IoT to succeed data privacy and data sharing must be addressed. From a consumer’s standpoint when buying a device you would not want to be limited to a single manufacturer. Data sharing between devices across manufacturers is currently almost non existent, this is due to many factors e.g. competitors, fear of data sharing, potential security holes etc
There is no single standard protocol for the internet of things as of yet. One of the dominant protocols is XMPP but this requires a server and does not support device to device communication. Other protocols do support this e.g. DDS (Data Distribution Service)
Each has its pros and cons, there are literally hundreds of protocols to choose from and this is the problem, cross communication becomes extremely difficult without standards.
For IoT to succeed we need a simple concise solution
What does the future hold for IoT?
I believe the Internet of Things will succeed, it is just a matter of how long it will take. The gains we can make greatly outweigh the problems of implementation. We hope that the internet of things will grow to be all encompassing; every device being smart to streamline everyday tasks. Once data is free flowing between all devices the possibilities are endless. But the future is still very cloudy, will we end up with centralised data on a server or decentralised across devices? Will one company be dominant or will the ideal sharing model be realised? The next few years will be interesting!
We can smart enable most devices quickly and cheaply. If you want to use an off the shelf solution or a bespoke design we are here to help.
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