Vendors and analysts would have us believe that the Internet of Things is imminent. In fact it will be years before the obstacles it faces can be surmounted.
Practically everywhere I turn, vendors want to chat with me about the Internet of Things, that great vision that soon billions of devices will enjoy network connectivity by which they can burble forth a torrent of information and potentially receive all kinds of useful commands. Of the many touted examples are refrigerators that can show you their internal temperature and alert you when it gets too high, DVRs that can notify you they're running out of space, and on and on.
In the commonly presented dream scenario, your "smart" house would have the ability to send data to a website where you could monitor all the important -- as well as inconsequential -- telemetry of your abode, including regular updates from every single one of your appliances, built-in cameras, thermostat, and so on. Being in the know about your home will never have been so complete and so draining. For people who like to worry constantly about details, welcome to heaven!
There is good reason why vendors are scrambling after this imagined universe. Every hardware vendor wants to participate (processors, WiFi/Bluetooth, monitoring devices, screens, and so on), and every software vendor wants a role in a scenario in which literally billions of Internet endpoints suddenly teem forth as data collection points.
Prior to joining Dr. Dobb's Journal, Andrew Binstock worked as a technology analyst, as well as a columnist for SD Times, a reviewer for InfoWorld, and the editor of UNIX Review. Before that, he was a senior manager at Price Waterhouse. He began his career in software ... View Full Bio
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