Can we redefine "IoT" as "Internet of Tat"? That's pretty much what most so-called IoT devices amount to as far as I can tell...
If you’re really doing the Internet of Things, we’d really like to hear about it at Building IoT London next March. Our call for papers is open now and we’d like to hear from practitioners in the user, vendor, academic and consulting industries, who are genuine pathfinders when it comes to turning the hype and theory around …
It's a strange thing. I genuinely don't like the concept of IoT - most of what it seems to represent ("smart" light bulbs, self aware kettles etc) seem to represent solutions where there is no problem, at great expense and sacrifice of data/security/privacy.
However... I like my Chromecasts. I like the fact my car can get live traffic updates through my phone. I like being able to check the webcam in the baby's room from the garage, so that I don't have to stay in the house all evening. I like having several TB of storage on our network, which I can access from anywhere. I also like how my phone has become a massively connected communication thingimy.
So I guess the issue, to me, is that IoT has become such a toxic "brand", associated with such nonsense, that I no longer apply it, in my head, to the things I actually find useful. I simply refer to those by name, or maybe something like "internet connected gadgets."
It's surely time serious developers stopped banging on about colour-changing lightbulbs (which cost £100 each, and stop working when the parent company stops making enough profit from the exact model you have) and start actually talking about specific, useful applications to our every day lives. Google seem to be very good at this - when did they last refer to any of their products as IoT devices?
IoT is taking Information Technology practices and applying them to other disciplines. Like connecting up all the freezers and fridges in a grocery store to monitor temperature and apply access controls. It's monitoring a fleet of trucks and the trailers to improve efficiency and to monitor drivers. You may not want a smart lighting system in your home but office buildings are cutting costs with them. IoT is monitoring the flow of cell phones through public spaces for analysis. IoT is camera's on light posts that can monitor for open parking spaces. IoT is us applying what we know to the rest of the world.
The IoT needs two major elements to make it work and become successful.
First is to ensure security - no backdoors from the 'fridge to your network.
Second is to have standardisation of communications between all devices - regardless of manufacturer.
These will need to be agreed like the internet protocols across the interweb, and could be similar to, for example, HL7, XDS and DICOM in the medical field.
That way, users wouldn't be locked in to one supplier [or conversely have different little installations that run independently of each other] and also if a supplier went bust, the kit could still be used with another controller or app.
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