Sunday, December 27, 2015

Why Internet of Things (IOT) Adoption Will Not Be As Slow as IPv6?


The most common used Internet Protocol IPv4 was first developed in 1970s and the main protocol standard RFC 791 that governs the IPv4 functionality was published in 1981. The impending shortage of address space was recognised as early as in 1992, and thus IETF initiated as early as 1994 to design and develop a suite of protocols and standards now known as IPv6. For example, basic protocol (RFC 2460) was published in 1998, Mobile IPv6 (RFC 3775) published in 2004 etc. It took almost 20 years after the initiation of the project to get a slight traction. Not many organisations and service providers are actually implementing IPv6. There is no urgency until lately when there is no more IPv4 address to be given out.
Thus, will the Internet of Things face a similar fate? It was in the year 1999 when the term IOT was first coined by Kevin Ashton (Executive Director of Auto-ID Center). It was only a day after the IPv6 basic protocol was published and it seems that only the past couple of years, we can see some IOT products appeared. Mainly in the form of IOT Development Kits (can be seen in Kickstarter website).
  1. More Than Just Device or Hardware Players - IOT is only meaningful when its coupled with the right Cloud Computing, Big Data Analytics and Semantic industry players. Google, HP, Cisco, Ericsson and many others are openly supporting the idea of IOT. The Company strategic focus is aligned to the idea of Things communicate.
  2. M2M or Internet of Everything or Web of Things - It does not matter what names was given to the IOT but the end game of IOT actually the lives of the people. Unlike IPv6 where it tries to find the so-called "killer apps", IOT is actually "the app".
  3. High Cost - Not all things like your home fridge, microwave, lights have the capability to communicate. However, we are now seeing many companies such as Nike, Withings, Reebok are launching new IOT devices. Expect there will be more to come very soon. The economy of scale will certainly bring the price down.
  4. Sensors Everywhere - M2M and WSN are the earliest forms of IOT i.e. to get things connected and communicate. And these communications devices have specific sensors attached to them such as temperature, humidity, GPS etc. But these devices are application specific. Nowadays, smartphones have various built-in sensors such as inertia, compass, GPS, microphone, camera, proximity and light sensors - suddenly a whole new span of applications can be created. Furthermore, smartphones are very user-centric. It extends the human senses to the device - movement, direction, location, sound, hearing, sight, closeness etc.
IOT era is here and "things" will never look the same again. Agreeable?

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