Imagine a world in which every device in the home, workplace and car are connected. A world where the lights automatically turn on when the car approaches the driveway, the coffee starts brewing when the morning alarm goes off and the front door automatically unlocks when approached by a member of the household, but stays locked when a stranger arrives on the front step. That is the type of world the Internet of Things can create.
Currently, the “Internet of Things” is not a second Internet – rather it’s a network of devices that are connected to the Internet that is used every day to search Google, upload images and connect with friends. It’s a network of products that are connected to the Internet, thus they have their own IP address and can connect to each other to automate simple tasks.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is in its infancy. It has not been fully developed and is fragmented. Luis Galvez, director of the Internet of Things Consortium, a group dedicated to bringing companies together to accelerate the development of the IoT, compares the current state of the IoT to the birth of the computer, noting businesses and consumers are just learning that products can connect to the Internet and now it’s time to figure out what to do with the technology.
Development of the IoT
Here is a case of how the Internet of Things is currently being used: a company called Rest Devices has developed a set of baby pajamas with its Peeko Monitor designed to detect Sudden Infant Death Syndrome; when a baby’s respiratory rate reaches alarming levels, the parents receive a text message or phone call, or a call is made to 911. It’s a very rigid system, controlled completely by the pajama maker. The sensor can’t communicate with an alarm clock or house lights for additional alerts. In order for that to happen, Rest Devices would have to also manufacture those devices, or work with those that do.
In order for that to happen, there needs to be a platform on which the devices can connect directly. Some companies have built their own platforms to connect devices manufactured within a single company, creating closed solutions to solve specific problems, but those closed solutions add to the fragmentation of the growing, and already crowded, industry. In order for all connected devices to communicate with one-another, they all must be connected on the same platform.
For the IoT to be fully realized all devices need to be able to connect to each other, regardless of what company manufactured the product or which companies have business relationships with each other.
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