SAN JOSE, Calif. – The growing number of cloud protocols for joining the Internet of Things is almost as daunting as the diversity of IoT markets, said an executive working to make the links.
"There won't be one standard anytime soon," said Chad Jones, vice president of product strategy at Xively, and a panelist at an executive summit on IoT at EE Live!
Xively uses the MQTT protocol IBM designed for its IoT efforts. Meanwhile, Cisco is planning to roll out an IoT cloud offering based on XMPP and many others, including ARM's new Sensinode group are pushing for open standards such as IPv6 and REST.
"I can't see IBM or Cisco giving up anytime soon on one of their protocols so we may have many to deal with for some time," said Jones.
Plenty of other giants and startups are already active or have plans in cloud IoT. They range from Amazon, Google, and Microsoft to less well-known names such as Arrayent, Axeda, and Berg Cloud.
"It’s a trillion dollar market or more," said Jones, whose company has 480,000 nodes under management using the cloud computing platform of its parent company LogMeIn.
Two customers exemplify the diversity of IoT users.
Xively connected as many as 3,000 Geiger counters in Fukishima, Japan, after the nuclear power plant disaster there so citizens could access better information on radiation levels than they believed they were getting from their government. Separately, on April 30, the company plans to announce a customer that will deploy connected refrigerators in as many as 4,000 US biotech labs to dispense chemical reagents on demand.
Handling the diversity of clients new to IoT comes down to a consulting effort in these early days.
"A lot of them are not quite sure of their business case, how to go to market or the technical ability to deploy an end-to-end system," Jones said. Longer term "you'll see the consulting shrink and more activity from self service capabilities on the web," he said.
At least that's the hope for the many companies such as Xively who aim to scale a broad array of customers, markets, and standards into a large business.
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— Rick Merritt, Silicon Valley Bureau Chief, EE Times