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5/27/2014
11:36 AM
Susan Nunziata
Susan Nunziata
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Internet Of Things: In Search Of An Architecture

The IoT vision still doesn't have a clear architecture from which to build meaningful business applications, an MIT professor says.

8 Gadgets For The High-Tech Home
8 Gadgets For The High-Tech Home
(Click image for larger view and slideshow.)

A variety of factors are holding companies back from embracing the Internet of Things. Though Gartner predicts there will be 26 billion IoT devices worldwide by 2020, concerns about data ownership, questionable data quality, inadequate network coverage, and integration with business applications are among the IoT roadblocks.

The biggest IoT challenge, according to Professor Sanjay Sarma of MIT, is the lack of an overarching architecture to pull together myriad streams of IoT information into a flexible and responsive ecosystem of applications.

Sarma was among the participants on an IoT panel at the MIT Sloan CIO Symposium on May 21 in Cambridge, Mass. He voiced concern about what he sees as a wide array of IoT point solutions designed to accomplish very specific tasks -- irrigate crops, turn the lights on in your home -- without an architecture to connect all that data in a meaningful way.

"Without connecting the dots, you'll have a disastrous, brittle system," Sarma said. "We don't have a clear architecture of where the world will go."

[Cisco says it's "all in" on the Internet of Everything -- but what does that mean? Read Cisco IoE: When Will Its Time Come?]

Using a consumer example -- the concept of the connected home -- Sarma elaborated on the challenges. "Let's say you want to change the experience when you walk into your home. The lights will come on, music will play, temperature will be set. Maybe Google Maps informs the house that you're near, and then a series of actions have to happen to anticipate your arrival." It all seems great, but what if it's not you walking into the house, but your spouse, who dislikes bright lighting, hates your music, and wants it to be cooler? Your spouse now has to change everything, making life more difficult than before.

Another panelist, Chris Kuntz, senior director of business development with ThingWorx, related that home scenario to business. "People understand it's not just about connecting your product, connecting your smart thing, collecting that data," Kuntz said. "It's about how do you connect it with a business process to effect some sort of change."

During the IoT session, panelist Dieter Haban, CIO of Daimler Trucks North America, described how the company has placed sensors in all its trucks sold in North America for the past two years. The goal, Haban said, is to maximize uptime for the vehicles and their drivers.

The sensors send information to Daimler Trucks' call center, where a customer service team notifies the relevant trucking company about a pending maintenance problem

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Susan Nunziata works closely with the site's content team and contributors to guide topics, direct strategies, and pursue new ideas, all in the interest of sharing practicable insights with our community. Nunziata was most recently Director of Editorial for ... View Full Bio
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Susan_Nunziata
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Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
7/2/2014 | 1:02:02 PM
Re: The Road to a Standard
@Batye: And often we do see the benefits of that R&D investment in our personal lives as well. i wish there were another way to do it, though. 
Susan_Nunziata
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Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
7/2/2014 | 1:00:05 PM
Re: The Road to a Standard
@Batye: Thank you kindly. 
Susan_Nunziata
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Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
7/2/2014 | 12:59:15 PM
Re: The Road to a Standard
@StacyE: Thanks so much. I guess the best we do is to become is optimistic realists.
batye
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batye,
User Rank: Ninja
7/1/2014 | 6:51:09 PM
Re: So my phone gets a second life?
sad but true, we are no longer have privacy nor security... even with our phone... what we owned... or it just a rent of new technology in exchange of having no right to privacy....
batye
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batye,
User Rank: Ninja
7/1/2014 | 6:49:24 PM
Re: Internet Of Things: In Search Of An Architecture
same as IT security it never ending battle of competition... and it like free for all this days... sad reality of technology development... how I see it...
batye
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batye,
User Rank: Ninja
7/1/2014 | 6:47:44 PM
Re: The Road to a Standard
interesting idea/point... but I think in our life time it would never happens... as for now we are entering age of permanet war... how I see...

 
batye
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batye,
User Rank: Ninja
7/1/2014 | 6:45:42 PM
Re: The Road to a Standard
from my past... Military always get latest and greatest.... and first priority access to technology.... and no other way around it ....
batye
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batye,
User Rank: Ninja
7/1/2014 | 6:43:46 PM
Re: The Road to a Standard
I could not agree more... right on the point...
StaceyE
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StaceyE,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/30/2014 | 7:20:05 PM
Re: The Road to a Standard
@ Susan

Very well said. I agree with your thoughts 100%.
Susan_Nunziata
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Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
6/30/2014 | 6:47:37 PM
Re: The Road to a Standard
@StaceyE: That's a conundrum i struggle with on a personal level. I'm no proponent of war by a long stretch, but I have to acknowledge that many of the technologies and engineering innovations that shape our daily daily lives came about as a result of initially being developed by the military. Silicon Valley most likely wouldn't exist in its current form if it weren't for the defense spending that poured into this area in the 1950s and 1960s. So while I agree in principal that I would like to see more government spending on engineering that on military, I suspect that in reality the two are more tightly entwined than I'd care to think about.

 
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