The Internet of Things is not about what an individual device can do. It’s about what happens when multiple devices start interacting with each other.
This also means that the Internet of Things will have to be built on open standards. The Internet works because it adhered to the following principles:
* Interoperability: protocols had to have ‘multiple, independent and interoperable implementations’; in practice means being based on publicly-available code.
* Robustness: while a single vendor might interpret protocols identically, it should be able to interact with a different interpretation of another vendor.
However, open standards is a problem in itself. Most hardware manufacturers want to lock things down with their own proprietary standards.
For example, manufacturers of smart network-enabled light bulbs allow control through a vendor-specific app. Now imagine the hassle of having to remember whether the bedroom lights were Philips or Osram before being able to turn them off.
This attempt by manufacturers to extract as much profit as possible from the system effectively makes devices incompatible. This approach is doomed to fail. The question is how far this will set back the Internet of Things while they do so.
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