Feb 13


It’s incredible to think that today we have in the order of 15 billion connected devices according to Cisco, and this is expected to grow at an unprecedented rate of around 27% CAGR over the next few years. In fact by 2020 it’s been estimated that there will be some 50 billion connected devices worldwide. (Ok that may include electronic dog collars and smart door locks!).

There has been a huge amount of hype over the last couple of years around the Internet of Things (IoT), a term relating to the wider set of internet applications and services based on M2M (Machine to Machine) communications technology. M2M has been around for some while now, particularly in the areas of industrial automation and remote monitoring systems. Its applications are pretty well unlimited and we are barely scraping the surface today in terms of the services supported. As we depend less and less on human intervention and more on automation, machines will increasingly need to communicate with each other and their management systems. Whether it be smart meters for monitoring utilities, connected cars, public transport, industrial automation, home security, eHealth, or remote monitoring of wind farms, M2M is here to stay for a long while yet.

But what about the network? Is it robust and secure enough to satisfy autonomous device communication on a massive scale? A large majority of the connected devices will utilize wireless networks for access. What kind of threats are there for machine communications over the public internet? For many mission critical applications such as heart monitors and remote monitoring of power plants, communication has to be highly reliable and secure.  According to Light Reading’s Jason Meyers, evolving new IoT standards such as that promoted by the AllSeen Alliance promises to address many of these issues [see AllSeen Tries to Streamline IoT Standards].

The AllSeen Alliance is a nonprofit consortium dedicated to enabling and driving the widespread adoption of Internet of Everything products, systems and services through the open source AllJoyn SDK and universal development framework. According to the AllSeen Alliance, the AllJoyn framework handles the complexities of discovering nearby devices, creating sessions between devices, and communicating securely between those devices. It abstracts the details of the physical transport and provides a simple-to-use API.

IoT and M2M are evolving rapidly and promise to open up a huge variety of new applications and internet based services in the near future. Adopting open standards for easier interworking between devices with a robust and secure communications infrastructure should ensure safe and reliable IoT applications. It’s certainly exciting times for the Internet of Things!

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