Before I get into the nitty-gritty details of my initial plan for how the system will be implemented I want to specifically state what my goals are and, more importantly, are not for the final system. Some of these goals will be reached during the HaD prize and some won't, but I think it's likely to be important for others to know my final goals so that they might be able to understand some of the decisions that I make along the way. With that in mind, let's talk about what the internet of things is now.
What is the current state of internet of things?
First and foremost, the internet of things (or IoT) is a buzzword and an "emerging market" where everyone is scrambling to get a piece of the pie. Secondly, it's nothing new. Before it was called "IoT", it was "M2M" (Machine to Machine), before that it was "Connected Devices", and before that it was "an embedded device that we stuck a POTS modem on". Now that's not to say that there's nothing new going on in the space, with all the flurry of recent activity there is much going on, some good, some bad.
Yes, there really is some good happening. The internet of things as a whole becoming much more prevalent, which in my book is a good thing. People are becoming more aware of the technology and are getting access to devices that make their lives easier, at least in theory. There's also been a great focusing on security, which is going to be extremely important in a future where our homes, offices, shops, and communal spaces are controlled by internet connected devices. This focus on the need for security is coming to light due to real-world security vulnerabilities in real devices, which, fortunately, are still early enough that there is no real dependence on them, so it should be possible to fix these problems before a time when such a vulnerabilities pose threats that are more than just a mild inconvenience.
Unfortunately that's actually entirely true, that is because these security vulnerabilities are in real, working, systems that are in people's homes and could be used to leak information, something as simple as whether someone is home or exposing your wifi network credentials, or they could be used to annoy the users of these devices, flipping their lights on and off or messing with a thermostat, but they could even conceivably be used to break into a house without leaving any evidence that someone, who shouldn't have been, was there.
Those are all very obviously things that will need to be fixed before iot can and even should become something that most people rely on for their everyday needs, but there are a few more issues that you may or may not be thinking about when it comes to the current state of iot.
One issue that is very important and may even be causing problems for the current users of existing iot systems is that of openness and interoperability. The fact that its very much in vogue for creators of current iot devices to create a custom, mostly proprietary, platform for their devices to exist on is rather unfortunate. Sure, many of these platforms will have some form of API or integration with other's platforms, but they are not open platforms and they will never be able to integrate with every other platform out there. This seems to be caused by the fact that most of the players in this space have delusions of grandeur, thinking that they will become the center of all of the future iot ecosystem. Even those that don't think this way have very little incentive to make their platforms open, once they have you as a customer it's almost always in their best interest to coerce you into investing your time and money into configuring and customizing your setup within the walls of their platform as much as is possible.
With the proliferation of all of these various walled gardens it gets harder to make all the devices you buy from various vendors interact with each other. Maybe you want your smart bed cover to work with your smart lights to wake you up naturally at the right...
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