A closed internet of little things

If you haven’t heard of “IoT” yet,  don’t worry, it’s the next wave of technology that hasn’t hit your home yet but soon will. It is already in home depot in form of a connected thermostat,  smoke alarm etc. Very soon you will be able to buy a coffee machine that can start brewing a cup when it detects that you are 5 minutes away from your home.

“Internet of things”, “Internet of everything”, “Web of things”, “M2M” or “Industrial internet” all refer to the new world of smart devices. Hey, if phones got smarter why not the coffee machine.

This much touted new wave of technological triumph for connected little devices has one little problem, they all speak different languages much like how the industry cannot agree on its terminology.

This has been an age old problem. Why would a purveyor of new technology follow suit and not attempt to set themself apart and  control the domain? Mini Cassette vs Micro Cassette, VHS vs Betacam, CD-R vs CD+R, Firewire Vs USB and 200 different video and audio formats, are evident of this continuous war.   The end result obviously is  the customer left dissatisfied with their Samsung TV that will never talk to their LG phone, until and unless they take vows of lifelong allegiance to one company’s ecosystem.  

Recent years have seen the companies building variety of products in a number of categories, all working together but increasingly inoperable with products from other companies.

Internet itself would have never happened in the form that we see today had it not been the HTML and HTTP standards made open for adoption by industry or garage entrepreneurs alike. Hardware, operating system or software platform did not matter because ultimately everything spoke the same language buy cytotec online.

Why aren’t the little devices talking the same language? Well, because languages like HTML/Javascript/CSS were designed for human interfaces, machine to machine conversation needs to be a different language when communicating across themselves, something more structured, something more rigid.

What IoT needs is not a common platform but a common language to create a compelling connected environment to enrich our lives.

A smart coffee machine would definitely be a good start of  a day.