back to article Internet of Things: Major players agree on goals, but little else

The whole industry seems to be going wild about the Internet of Things (IoT), but the hard part about making this bold new vision happen is going to be as much about getting the vendors talking as getting the so-called things talking. In their separate keynotes at the LinuxCon 2014 conference in Chicago last month, Cisco's …

  1. Charles Manning

    Oh, we all know what the goals are...

    Make tons of money out of... well... somebody.

    The trillon sensor summit coming soon thinks that a year-on-year exponential increase in sensors can continue unchecked forever.

    This document is a nausiating mashup of "multi-physics" and "multi-biochemistry", electronic and nanomaterials. It promises Smart Cities, Smart Environment and Smart Water. It has all the buzzwords there to lure in the greedy investor.

    Anongst other things it gravely warns: "Without focused commercialization efforts and availability of standardised development and manufacturing infrastructure, the developmen and scalability of sensors will be delayed, undoubtedly delaying Abundance."

    Or in other words, buy up IVV6 routers or starving chindren will die of waterborn diseases in Africa.

    As I have commented elsewhere, the vast majority of the people in the world live on $10/year or less and don't exactly have budget for anything beyond food and shelter. That means that less around 1 billion people will "need" to spend $15000 on 1000 sensors each in the next 8 years or so.

    That's more than the annual household income of wealthy countries like USA.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: "Without focused commercialization efforts .."

      In other words, if somebody else doesn't do the job right, we won't continue swimming in money.

      Delaying Abundance, really ? And with a capital A, no less ? The only thing that is going to generate Abundance is controlled nuclear fusion. Nothing else has the potential to do that. Trying to pass off IoT as a generator of infinite wealth is beyond moronic, it is criminal.

      That paper just proves that this whole IoT fad is just another money grab.

      On the other hand, those guys are slick, I must admit. This fad is only just starting and they have already found their excuse for when the purported "wealth" does not materialize (the commercialization efforts were not focused enough).

      1. DropBear

        Re: "Without focused commercialization efforts .."

        Abundance is controlled nuclear fusion. Nothing else has the potential to do that.

        Well, I would add actual functioning nanobots to that - with the caveat that even the perpetually just-a-few-decades-away fusion is closer than those are. Anyway, they all ignore the elephant in the room: IoT is just the modern equivalent of classic, venerable Home Automation networks - and as everybody knows, the problem with those is that nobody managed to figure out how to make things talking to each other sum up to anything more than marginally useful.

        What's even worse that there is a sort-of-hidden (not really) cost attached to any sort of 'smart' implementation: major loss of predictability. In cars, that means they used to go faster if you stepped on the throttle, slower if you hit the brakes, and that's about it - while now they might react to a fault (real or false) and go into limp mode, override your inputs in all sorts of ways by "ESP" and so on - the bottom line is nobody knows why they do what they do without whipping out a laptop and an OBD2 interface. But while most would probably agree that a car overriding your input in order to save your life is an acceptable price to pay, the same is harder to say about a considerably less life-threatening but potentially much more complexly interacting environment of one's home: stuff that keeps happening (mostly at the wrong moment since the IoT is missing the context) while we're never quite sure why thereby forcing us to constantly override it manually will hardly be a relaxing experience...

  2. earl grey

    won't want it; don't need it

    Said it before, so i'll bore you with it again. There's virtually nothing in my house (except my computer) that i want talking to anything; anywhere; period. And i'm not always sure about the computer. 'nuff said.

  3. JP19

    Elephant in the room

    A. I want a standard for my 'thing' to communicate on the internet.

    B. What does your thing do?

    A. Dunno we hadn't really thought about that yet.

    B. Come back when you have.

    A. Aww stop hassling me, I need to get on and make money from my things.

    The other day I got some marketing spam from a semiconductor manufacturer telling me there are going to be 50 billion internet connected things in 6 years time. What are these 50 billion things going to be and who is going to buy them? I have trouble thinking of one thing I want connected to the internet that isn't already.

  4. Oninoshiko

    "Data is an interesting thing," Enescu said. "It's very difficult, very expensive to move around."

    After a quick look around here, it seems most of the difficulty and expense of moving it around is Cisco.

  5. MyffyW Silver badge

    I suspect the only standard that will be agreed on will be TCP/IP and (possibly) the use of ports 80, 8080 or maybe 443 if we're lucky.

    So all progress will focus on managing myriad APIs.

    Oh joy.

  6. Gene Cash Silver badge

    It has to go through the cloud!

    Every damn IoT thing I've seen so far in the local builder's stores MUST go through the manufacturer's cloud to function, for no good reason whatsoever other than to provide them with marketing information. I'm talking about things like door locks, lights, thermostats, garage door openers, security cams, etc.

    And no, I am not giving them the info, much less opening my firewall for all these bastards.

    My wifi thermostat is so useful I went through the pain of writing an app to talk to it locally, but there's nothing else I can think of that would be as useful, so far.

  7. Glen Turner 666

    "Expensive" is in the engineering sense

    Oninoshiko, it's all very well to put in a dig at Cisco, but you miss the meaning of "expensive". In this space "expensive" is really talking about wireless transmission time. The more you transmit, the shorter the battery life or, in the case of an aircraft, the more money you hand over to satellite owners.

    The article is very fine at describing the current situation where the applications and architecture are obvious, but also where unless there is one interoperable specification then its not going to find its way into consumer devices.

    Bear in mind the real work has yet to begin. For example, there's no profiles for things such as machines reporting their parts inventory and status. Let alone to determine to whom that inventory should be reported to: to the manufacturer, or to your chosen washing machine repairer? It's in everyone's interest for the repairer to appear with the likely-to-be-faulty part on their first visit, that's a feature any purchaser would see the benefit in. And yet the industry is doing its best to make sure this never happens. Let alone more advanced applications.

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