Not so sure about the security angle, Sylvie. Like Helen Keller said "Security is an illusion." It will never be absolute unless humanity suddenly becomes universally sinless.
The real issue of the IoT is the management of data. Current search is based on words and phrases, primarily, but it is constantly being gamed by the SEO industry. We need a software approach that institutes an automated omniscience, more than just artificial intelligence, that brings the right information to the devices when requested. There's a lot of stuff we need to know but it comes to us in semi-truck loads, rather than in appropriate amounts. when someone figures that out, the IoT will take off.
I agree that you hit the nail on the head.
lcovey is right that managing the data is a 'big deal'. But unless you can be sure that the data is authentic/accurate/reliable, it's not clear that the data will be of any value. And if I can spoof data to make it look like it came from you instead of me there are all sorts of unpleasant options.
The technology is there - cryptography, hardware security devices, protected protocols - we just need to see them get integrated in the solutions.
You are absolutely right Sylvie. With Millions/Billions of devices hanging off the "universal neural net", the potential security issues can be disastrous….…. No one likes to see something benign like their home electricity hacked. Imagine what can happen to larger mission critical infrastructures if they become the target. Security for IoT is perhaps the most aspect of the whole thing.
How long will it be before “We” become part of the “Internet of Things”? As soon as everything about you is able to be tracked, you will not be allowed to be without your connected device. To make sure that doesn’t happen the device will be embedded in you at birth and constantly transmit data about you. Not long after that the data will become bidirectional instructing you how to best serve the collective. Resistance is futile.
Kaivan, didn't get to this message for a while, sorry for the late reply.
My comment was rather high-level, addressing the local embedded processing layer most often done by MCU/Micro's you were referring to. I think there are many software+hardware solution opportunities, both hierarchical or single stack, that can provide intelligent and correlated information from IoT. I will stop right there (since that is what I am working to protect as IP!). But you were right on track in the article!
Apart from being interesting concept for all the geeks around, why would you need your home to be smart? One of the arguments I hear is that it will save the energy.... what a lot of bollocks. Unless we start building houses that are truly passive (that's the technology to follow and it exists for more than 20 years) nothing will change. If your house is not insulated than the super-duper thermostat with weather prediction and all the IP addressable light bulbs will not make it warmer. What is wrong with standard light switch? Are we too retarded to use it? And remember to switch it off when we leave the room? Or do you guys have 1000W lamps in every room?
Sorry for my rant but every now and then I see those articles about super benefits of smart homes but they are not addressing real problems.
The real problem with houses is to keep them warm/cold depending on the season with as little external energy as possible.
Good point @mac_droz, the benefits of smart homes were never clear to me...and exactly to your point: I have moved to a brand new house from 15-year old house. The old house was properly build with extra wall insulation. The new house was build to some green standards, have high tech windows, efficient lighting etc. And guess what, walls are thin and my heating being is larger although the new house is less than half the size of the old ones. I can install as much electronics as I want the heat is escaping thru the walls and holes in all windows and doors. I guess I ended up getting a stupid house ;-)...Kris
Okay, another "excuse" to utter my mantra: the IoT is nothing more than "more of the same." Like everything else touted as being something brand new, yes, even this "cloud" business, in reality it is an evolution of what just about everyone is already familar with.
The Internet, to get down to the fundamentals, has ALWAYS been about "things." Internet addresses have ALWAYS been the address of an interface to a "thing." Not to a person. To a computer, to a peripheral device such as a printer, to a sensor, to a router, to a server at home or at work or in "the cloud." All things. Even your e-mail "address" becomes translated into the actual IP address of a "thing."
It's only cost and available Internet bandwidth that has kept things more or less under control. But already, you can contact your home PVR over the Internet, you can contact your car over 3G (and get remote diagnostics), easy enough to think of controlling your home heating system remotely over the Internet, and surely everyone knows that your home heating systems are also auto-adjusting (for too many decades to bother mentioning).
Remote and automated factory controls have been available for many years. Remote as well as automated control systems for cars, airplanes, ships, public transportation systems such as Metro, airport ground transportation systems, you name it, have also been with us for a whole lot of time now. Connecting each of these to the Internet, assuming they aren't already connected (many are!), is not a huge leap, is it?
So, if you want to make a few more of your own personal devices ALSO available over the Internet, surely this shouldn't be seen as ground-breaking innovation?
You are absolutely right that all of this can be done today from remote comand and control basis, and IPv6 will make it more pervasive. This said, there are a ton of services being worked on that leverages these capabilities today, that VCs weren't spending money on before, and now they are. IPv6 along with a set of security standards, maybe the tipping point that leverages most of what is there today, and come up with a whole new set of services.
all the best,
Kaivan, I agree that IPv6 can make these Internet-connected devices "more pervasive," simply because it has so much more address space. But a problem might be that people will misconstrue that comment.
You don't HAVE to use IPv6 to achieve most of these capabilities. And the security measures available in IPv6 are also available in IPv4. The very same security protocols.
So as far as I'm concerned, people should not go off assuming that this IoT was practically impossible until now.
One simple technique, which has worked for decades, is that previously isolated control system networks are connected to the Internet via a gateway device. The gateway device is easily capable of accepting messages from the Internet at an interface with an IP address, and then translating that address into the scheme used by the previously isolated control system net. And vice versa, for messages originating from the control system net.
With that technique, as well as more standardized techniques such as NAPT, you can greatly expand the usefulness of even the 32-bit IPv4 address space.
It' true that refrigerators and toasters have not typically been connected to the Internet in the past, so perhaps the average joe didn't know this could be done. However EET readers should not be bowled over by any of this.
IoT is nothing but a collection of evolutionary steps that most of the technologies are available today, however collectively it enbales new classes of services....the "whole" at that point will be much greater than the sum of the pieces.
I agree @Bert...IoT is just a new buzzword, along the lines of many other ones (like cloud computing which was done years earlier without using the term)...marketing news buzzwords though, otherwise we would be lacking any exciting topics to talk about ;-)
Hello @mac-droz and iniewski,
Hope all is well. @mac_droz has a great point about passive houses with the right insulation, as indeed heating and cooling are the largest expense for most home, and account for over 50% of the energy use in a typical U.S. home. You don’t need a “smart home” to keep cost down on your heating, cooling or lighting for that matter. There are a couple of cases, that a “connected” home with visibility into their appliance usage can help the grid, hence the concept of energy savings. During the peak hour for cooling or heating, e.g. 2-5 pm mid July in Austin, Texas, when the air conditioner is blasting non-stop, and the grid is experience a peak capacity….at the margins, the cost of producing electricity is a lot more expensive for the utility companies, than what they are selling the electricity to you. If they can track your appliances usage and make sure that during these peak hours you are not also as an example running your washing machine, and incentivize you to run it late at nights, then it’s a win-win for everyone, and cost of energy consumption can be reduced by a reasonable amount. This can only happen when the energy usage can be tracked at a major appliance level at the time of usage, as oppose to aggregate at the meter.
Most other services related to a “smart home” are convenience based, for remote tracking and monitoring and command and control….all of this can be done today, with or without the IoT tag on it… the only thing that makes all of this happen is IPv6, so more unique addresses for more uniquely identifiable devices on the internet.
I am working on a paper on the role of sensor fusion in IoT that may be suitable for your cmoset. Please send me an email and we can discuss (firstname.lastname@example.org).
All the best,
I can also send you the ppt version of each graphic. please send me an email email@example.com
and let me know which one you want.
(*) 1980 A multi-story Bank with remote facilities addressed and installed a 100% Computer Controlled “complex”. It was operational on Day One. Within the next (7) Years additional technology was adapted in other projects that would be very compatible to enhance the First Project. (Interactive Tele-video with data – proven 1966, Holography Proven 1986, To the Penny monetary flows same day as start of SWIFT. Yet another example is the Chicago Mercantile exchange.) All other areas were already functional. Real World Functional operations exist to prove it! Newer devices such as the Apple I-5 and similar have addressed total communications with all these functions at this time. The ONLY limitations are the “VISION” of those involved and the KNOWLEDGE they share!!!
I think that we can all agree that the Internet of Things has the potetial to impact our lives enormously and to give the chip industry a huge boost. It's interesting to read about the gaps in technology that need to be filled, particularly with regard to some of the low power connectivity technologies that will be needed to see this all come to fruition.
Replay available now: A handful of emerging network technologies are competing to be the preferred wide-area connection for the Internet of Things. All claim lower costs and power use than cellular but none have wide deployment yet. Listen in as proponents of leading contenders make their case to be the metro or national IoT network of the future. Rick Merritt, EE Times Silicon Valley Bureau Chief, moderators this discussion. Join in and ask his guests questions.