Here in Silicon Valley, I talked with Kris Pister, a Berkeley IoT researcher and founder of Dust Networks, one of the early IoT startups. He agreed with the assessment of Levent in Europe. "The [IoT] field is held back by lousy standards and lousy implementations," Pister told me.
The good news is the industry is close to finishing what Pister hopes is a winning standard based on some of the same underpinnings used in the Internet.
Pister backs 6LoWPAN. At its lowest levels it is based on the IEEE 802.15.4 media access controller. At its highest level is the IETF's Constrained Application Protocol. In between, work is about to start on something called 6TSCH (a.k.a. time-synchronized channel hopping for IPv6), one last layer needed to finish the architecture.
Separately, Pister and colleagues have been working on OpenWSN, an open-source software stack that implements the 6LoWPAN approach for wireless sensor networks. "We're approaching the point of having the first complete working stack, but we still don't have security -- something universities are less interested in," says Pister.
Cisco and others are big backers of 6LowPAN. But there's no universal agreement this will be the glue for IoT. IBM, for example, promotes Message Queuing Telemetry Transport (MQTT), which uses an event subscription model that differs from the approach 6TSCH is taking.
Even if the 6LoWAN folks get consensus, no doubt backers of the other couple dozen IoT approaches out there will contend they are better for some reason, even if it is only because they have been around longer. Whether or not anyone agrees, the reality is they may need to work with the networks they have installed.
So we still need some new glue to unite the superset of IoTs out there, a sort of IoT super glue. And that's the big problem behind this exciting concept of the Internet of Things.