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IoT Landscape Needs Mapping

Two sides and a middle
Larry Mittag
1/27/2015 12:30 PM EST

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LarryM99
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Re: IoT Landscape needs mapping
LarryM99   1/29/2015 4:43:26 PM
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@spike_johan, I am referring to 'core sensors' in terms of those that are only of use within a specific application area. For example, in the petro-chem area there would be sensors associated with storage tanks that I would imagine would only be accessible to the companies involved, or potentially also regulatory agencies. In a home it might be whether the family pet last went in or out of the doggy door. I don't know that even Google would be interested in that, but I know that I would for my house.

M2M is a key point for IoT. I have been writing and talking about this aspect for quite a while now. Some people still think that the Internet is defined solely by the web browser. This is changing, but many still do not understand the opportunities around our stuff talking directly to other stuff. That's where the fun is going to be.

spike_johan
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Re: IoT Landscape needs mapping
spike_johan   1/29/2015 3:28:03 PM
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@Larry

Thanks again for your thoughtful reply. And I had to go back and check on the FCC/IoT security related article that I read and you were right; FTC is was.

And yes, being a left-hander I am slightly dyslexic, but when did communications security become the realm of the FTC? Okay, security (read privacy) but still?

I haven't read the FTC's charter (nor do I intend to) but their concerns over privacy issues surrounding personal information being transmitted by IoT sensor like devices sounds like gratuitous - if not malicious - meddling/snooping to me. (If our personal information privacy is so important to them then they should have started their discussions with the NSA some time ago).

And I agree with your recent comment that chirping sensors are/will be/should be isolated as well as gatewayed into the internet. That only makes sense.

And yes, I agree that the new emerging world of the IoT will not be black and white and that is the reason why I originally responded to your well-written (and aptly titled) article. Meaning, the IoT is not merely just the continuation of the evolution of the present internet, in that the IoT infrastructure is by general consensus defined as machine to machine (m2m) - the Internet of Things - seen as bolted onto (or gatewayed into) the existing internet.

But more importantly, I also do not believe that the IoT was the intended consequence of IPv6 - which again brings me back to the purpose of my original reply to your comment(s) that the IoT needs mapping.

The only place where I guess that you lose me is when you talk about core sensors. Coming from a petro-chem background (before switching my EE career to electronics and communication systems in the early '90s), I do not understand what could/would comprise a core sensor. The old petro-chem paradigm was that sensors talked to controllers. There were no core sensors.

 

 

LarryM99
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Re: IoT Landscape needs mapping
LarryM99   1/29/2015 12:59:36 PM
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@spike_johan, sorry, I missed your description of the spaces as being non-overlapping. Personally, I think that the world is not going to be that black-and-white. There will certainly be core sensors in both cases, but I suspect that there will be overlap at the edges.

Regarding chirping devices, they will either be in isolated networks or gatewayed into the Internet. In either case they must be examined in terms of an appropriate security model. I don't know if the FTC (Note: in this case not the FCC) will end up adding value to the discussion, but at least there is a discussion happening.

Larry M.

 

spike_johan
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Re: IoT Landscape needs mapping
spike_johan   1/29/2015 8:26:07 AM
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@Larry.

I personally am highly skeptical about the FCC adding any value. And yes, I read yesterday or the day before about their cautions concerning a secure IoT.

Because the way I understand the emerging IoT - that the majority of the 100's of billions of things waiting to be connected - will be those things (sensors) operating at the fringe. And properly architected, they shouldn't be security concerns. For example, those things like agro-business moisture sensors should be implemented as both cheap and dumb (mono-directional chirps only).

And my thoughts for two nonoverlapping IoTs - industrial/consumer - should be viewed just as a starting point; the antithesis for the brainless argument that the IoT must be a one size fits all proposition (aka all IPv6).

 

LarryM99
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Re: IoT Landscape needs mapping
LarryM99   1/28/2015 11:50:41 PM
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Two overlapping spaces is a good start, but there are more shades of grey involved. Research projects will instrument the environment and make data openly available to all, so there is at least one other type of player. Within each of these spaces there will be data that ranges from very sensitive to openly available to anyone interested. There will also be business models built around access to proprietary information. The FTC oversight on IoT security is (hopefully) going to have to take all of these into account.

Larry M.

spike_johan
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Re: IoT Landscape needs mapping
spike_johan   1/28/2015 12:42:49 PM
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Larry:

A good discussion and I think that your title "IoT Landscape needs mapping" is very appropriate for ongoing discussions.

With these IoT discussions I am like a dog with bone. I find it maddening that most commentators make what I consider to be one or more of the following four very erroneous assumptions: 1) the IoT and IPv6 are part and parcel of the same thing and 2) said in a slightly different way, that IPv6 was the mandate for the IoT and 3) the IoT is just another name for the evolving, growing internet and 4) the entire IoT all needs to have the same architecture.

Back to your point of mapping the IoT - I am of the mind that there are (or should be) two non-overlapping IoT's: Consumer goods. And industrial applications. They do afterall have entirely different requirements. And if you separate them as such then the implementation and management of the IoT just got a little bit easier.

PS - And the existing internet - smart client to cloud servers and the client to client pieces should continue to grow and evolve in their own space.

LarryM99
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Re: IoT direct to cellular?
LarryM99   1/28/2015 1:33:47 AM
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I completely agree, Bert, but as you point out there is already a class of devices that do just that. There is also a case to be made for cellular aggregation points to provide access for groups of simpler sensors. There are also cellular chipsets available for what are described as 'high-volume applications, typically 300k or greater'. The M2M market has at least significant overlap with IoT, and cellular is a very real option there. I see local wireless networks with an aggregation point if needed as a more practical option in many cases, but there are those who think otherwise.

Larry M.

Bert22306
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IoT direct to cellular?
Bert22306   1/27/2015 5:42:13 PM
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Somehow, I doubt that the majority of the not-already-existent IoT devices would use 4G or other cellular schemes. The devices that might do so, such as water and power meters, have existed for years, with one form or another of remote monitoring capability.

The in-home IoT devices, IMO, will use either WiFi or Bluetooth, and perhaps some of them will be available to the owner from outside the home, through the homenet router.

That's my bet. I certainly have no interest in paying a cellco to carry direct the signal from my toaster, refrigerator, washing machine, or light switches.

But then again, I don't use cable TV either.

The above applies only to in-home IoT devices, to be clear. Devices in cars or other platforms may even be legislated to use cellular comms, using the safety mantra, of course.

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