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We Know What the IoT Is, but How & When It Arrives Is Unclear

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Rob Spiegel
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We're getting there
Rob Spiegel   5/15/2013 10:04:24 AM
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Hey Rich, I agree we're getting there on the Internet of things. As more devices have connectivity, they naturally become part of the IoT. This happening more and more at plants these days, whether it's remote monitoring of devices or remote maintenance review. The first time I saw the concept was during the dot com days when dot com'ers were predicting a completely connected home. So far, that's not really necessary. But the concept took off in plants because connectivity can improve efficiency and improve optimization. That makes for real motivation.

Charles Murray
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Re: We're getting there
Charles Murray   5/15/2013 6:49:14 PM
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Rob, the first time I wrote about the Internet of Things I was with EE Times, and much of the talk centered on the home, as you suggested. The idea seems to have matured since then, but I think eventually we will come back to that concept.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: We're getting there
Rob Spiegel   5/16/2013 12:52:48 PM
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I think a lot of connectivity we're seeing -- often in the factory setting -- could be construed as a version of the Internet of Things. The term may be similar to "the cloud," where there were tons of instances of cloud computing before the term appeared.

Debera Harward
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Re: We're getting there
Debera Harward   5/16/2013 9:13:53 AM
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Thanks Richard for reminding us about IOT. No doubt these days we are soo much dependant on it that we merely forget to think about it this is one of the great revolution in the industry . Initially there was a lot of hype of IOT but now this technology has grown up and is matured but with every advantage there is responsibility as well IOT conains alot of information with information there  is always security constraints .Security is the major flaw of this technology. If any of your information is present in it then it is very easy for any one to make conclusions about  you and get your information as well.

richnass
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Re: We're getting there
richnass   5/16/2013 11:33:17 AM
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Debera, regarding security, it depends on the application. There are many cases where I doubt anyone would hack in and I really don't caree if they do, and in these instances, I don't want to pay extra for extra security. For example, if my TV's remote was on the INternet, I doubt someone would be trying to hack in to change my channels. Obviously there are cases where this isn't true.

tekochip
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Re: We're getting there
tekochip   5/16/2013 12:21:17 PM
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The remote control is probably a bad example because I instantly thought that an evil network or sponsor would love to take control of your remote and prevent you from changing channels, mess with your volume or prevent you from muting during a particular commercial. Think of how websites already try hard to hijack your PC to do the same thing.
 
A local network, sure, but not everything needs global visibility.


richnass
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Re: We're getting there
richnass   5/16/2013 1:58:34 PM
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tekochip: You have some interesting ideas.

TJ: It's not necessarily everythig connected to everything. But it's the ability to connect to the thigs you want to connect to.

Debera Harward
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Re: We're getting there
Debera Harward   5/16/2013 2:48:58 PM
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Richnaas you are absolutely correct but if there are cases where security is not required but there are also situations where security is essential . I didnt mean to offense you there are two cases.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: We're getting there
Rob Spiegel   6/4/2013 2:34:42 PM
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I agree about your security concerns, The Internet of Things will be out there like a ripe plum, just waiting for its data to get picked.

naperlou
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taking it too far
naperlou   5/16/2013 10:42:05 AM
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Rich, while the IoT is a very important and exciting area, which the silicon vendors do love, there is a tendency to take it too far some times.  In reality you won't have everything connected to everything.  Would you really want to?  By looking at the scale from the most extenive set of possible connections you come up with a system that is much too complex to be justified for the utility that is gained.  On the other hand, there are natural communities of things that, when connedted, give some useful result.  This might include the appliances in my house and the smart meter.

As an example of a non-useful connection, take a game controller and your clothes washer.  Even though someone may come up with some convoluted use for this, it is not really necessary or useful.

There was an interesting blog on the Freescale site regarding sensor fusion and the IoT.  This is where the real need for those 32-bit MCUs comes in.  That will be interesting to watch.

TJ McDermott
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There's a more familiar name
TJ McDermott   5/16/2013 12:24:36 PM
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I didn't know the term IoT until this article.  The definition made me think it should be called:

Skynet

 

What about addressing?  If every "thing" will be connected, how are they being addressed?  Didn't we run out of IPv4 addresses several years ago, and IPv6 addressing would fix the problem?

William K.
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Re: There's a more familiar name
William K.   5/16/2013 9:03:37 PM
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If we ever get the "internet of things, where every light has it's own IP address, it will be IP48 that will handle it, or possibly IP64 may have a broad enough address field to last another two years. At some point the whole thing becomes a silly exercise in general goofiness.

And just because everything could be connected, eventually it will be connected-by hackers, probably. And is security needed? just consider what wouold happen if some hacker decided to make all of the electric ovens in California switch on and off at the same time, every minute or so. Or if they added in all of the air conditioners.  It would probably take out the whole west6ern grid in a short time, and we already know how long a recovery there takes.Si the Io T needs very much to have a lot of limitations embedded in it.

apresher
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IoT
apresher   5/16/2013 5:53:54 PM
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Rich, Absolutely right that there is a lot of confusion about this concept. It is true that the Internet of Things is already here, to some extent, and there are interesting new examples in the areas of energy conservation and medical applications. But the real juice, sophisticated algorithms that adapt to data and make intelligent decisions, is really just in its infancy.  Or at least, I think that's the current thinking.

jcline
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Iron
Sell More 32-bit SoCs
jcline   5/22/2013 4:04:01 PM
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As the software guy in question who made the comment I stand by it : "IoT is only a hot topic because silicon vendors are pushing it, so they can sell more 32-bit SoCs."

I predict the internet of things will exist by definition when embedded devices talk directly to and from a user's smart phone.  Until then, all this business of going to the cloud and back to a smart phone is just a workaround.  The user wants seamless interaction with the technology in the environment and the handheld communicator aka smart phone or mini tablet is the window into this interaction. 

That is "how" it will arrive.  "When" it will arrive depends on business forces and end user demand.  After all, I'm still required to implement pulse dialing on modern telecommunications devices, and that was supposed to be phased out decades ago; and Apple apparently is having trouble streaming on-demand music to users, because Sony Entertainment won't allow a "skip" button for internet radios.  Users cling to old technology and gorillas construct moats even when users prefer easy integration across technology fields.

The 32-bit SOC vendors see a new land in which to create moats, using new lower cost silicon.  Except SOC vendors don't have a good a problem to solve with their new silicon, because: users aren't yet ready for the technology, and communication providers (especially cellular) are too busy pinching pennies and fortifying their walls to keep users in.   If the two ends aren't ready for innovation then you know what happens.  Let's not even mention the telehealth market which is frozen in a lattice of insurance providers, government subsidy, big pharma, religion, user diseducation, ... and the technology is supposed to innovate?

# jcline at ieee.org

 

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