This week is has been interesting in the Internet of Things space. There have been such a wide range of topics written it's hard to see the forest through the trees. As I look to broader trends, I continue to see the common themes of Security, Intelligent Networks and continued interests in Wearables and Home Automation. Additionally, while there is a lot of hype around the promise of IoT, there's a few articles in our issue to keep you grounded in what is real and what isn't. It's the variety that makes this an exciting time to be writing about IoT. The ecosystem is young and in many ways still being defined by not only large players, but many startups as well. Enjoy this issue!
Apple taught us "there's an app for that". Which is great when my device is my iPhone. But what if the device is my car, my washing machine, or even my door lock? Do I really need an app for that? What if my devices need to talk to each? Do they need to download an app? You can see where this is going. If the Internet of Things is going to gain wide adoption devices need to just work with people and other devices. Automatically. Two interesting ideas appeared this week attempting to address the "app" issue; Google's release of "The Physical Web" and Bitcoin's block chain. Both are interesting approaches and are samples of the innovation happening in the industry.
A Map of Every Device in the World That's Connected to the Internet
Using magic John Matherly, the founder of Shodan, a search engine for internet-connected devices has attempted to map the Internet of Things.
Google Reveals 'the Physical Web,' a Project to Make Internet of Things Interaction App-Less
Google is thinking of a future beyond apps on your smart phone. People should be able to use devices without having to install software. Google started a new project,"The Physical Web", which aims to create a ubiquitous "standard that can be used by everyone and that is open". While the code for the project starts with Android the goal isn't to create something which only works on the Google platform.
The Physical Web: Google's Trojan Horse Gift to the Internet of Things
Chris Nerney provides a counterpoint to Google's "The Physical Web" project's stated goal of "open to everyone". If every device is accessible through a web address who would stand to benefit the most from that? Maybe the "internet’s largest collector and monetizer of information"?
Can We Trust Real-Time, Collective Intelligence to Live a Better Life?
The intelligence that comes from a network of sensors that will prove to be invaluable to us all in the future. It's not enough to just record data. When a system is able to build enough historical data, the network itself can expect when and how things go out of the normal bounds and not only alert the user, but take action as well.
Why the Investment Potential of the 'Internet of Things' May Be Overblown
This article argues that while bringing devices online is an interesting next step, it's nothing but a simple evolution of the Internet. The basic rules of business still apply - products that addresses specific functions and solve real world problems will be the ones to succeed. To that point, does anyone really care about a smart refrigerator?
Image credit: Gartner
Bitcoin Could Transform Internet of Things into Vast Data Marketplace
In a new paper presented at the UbiComp conference in Seattle, researchers shared how sensors could "interact with the bitcoin block chain and to receive payments in exchange for their data". What would this mean? Imagine having access to data from any sensor in the world and pay for it using Bitcoin. That could lead to useful and interesting things for people. However, the real power is in this model comes from systems purchasing real time information from each other.
IBM Executive Highlights Block Chain's Utility for Internet of Things
Security, cost, and flexibility are fundamentals of distributed networks which must be addressed in order for the Internet of Things to become a reality. This technical article digs in to why IBM's Paul Brody thinks the Bitcoin block chain has the potential solve all three.
Revealed: Top 10 Internet of Things Startups in the UK
Check out these 10 start ups based in the UK jumping in and working on products related to the Internet of Things! It's interesting to note that we are seeing a lot more startups with IoT solutions in the UK and Europe than in the US.
Intel Pushes Factory IoT with $9 Million Cost Savings at Plant
Interesting to see Intel step up and eat their own dog food by using their IoT technology stack to trim costs in the same plants that manufacture equipment for IoT. We are just at the cusp of innovation in this area and the cost saving potential in industrial applications is huge!
Wireless Charging Is Coming to Wearables, Eventually
While wireless charging is a great convenience, there is currently no standard that all manufacturers have agreed to use. This has slowed adoption from Apple and others. However, some companies aren't waiting around and instead are working on technology that allows for charging from 10-15 feet away, thus freeing the user from having to remove their device.
Notion: Be Home, Even When You're Not.
With costs coming down and the increased ease of use, a number of products have been launched in the past year to monitor your home. This funded Kickstarter project aims to alert the user of a whole hows of changes in their environment when they are not there.