Welcome!

@ThingsExpo Authors: Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz, Pat Romanski, William Schmarzo

Related Topics: @ThingsExpo, Agile Computing

@ThingsExpo: Article

What The Internet of Things Is Not | @ThingsExpo #API #IoT

The IoT through the lens of reality to state what the IoT isn't, which means that you discover what it really is all about.

What The Internet of Things Is Not
by John Mueller

Some time ago, I wrote an article entitled, "What is the Internet of Things?" It sought to help put the Internet of Things (IoT) into perspective and helped describe a dream about what the IoT could eventually become. Technologies always mature and people's feelings toward them change. In addition, the reality of the Internet of Things begins to set in. The vaporware and promises of yesterday fade in the face of what the technology can actually do and how people actually expect to use it. Many people are saying that the IoT is losing steam, but that's not really the case. The IoT is maturing and becoming a more useful technology space that developers can actually employ to create some really compelling digital experiences. This article looks at the IoT through the lens of reality to state what the IoT isn't, which means that you discover what it really is all about.

Avoiding the Hype Products
Some companies see IoT as a means for making all of us excessively lazy and they're willing to provide the products to help us go there. Some people consider Amazon's Dash Button as one such device. The idea is to stick it to something in your laundry room, such as the washing machine, and you push it every time you're out of detergent. While some people were drooling over the device, some industry pundits saw it for what it was - ludicrous. Of course, Amazon wants to get everyone to participate, so there is the Dash Replenishment Service and Amazon is inviting developers to join. That's right! You can access an API that makes it possible to create your own Dash Button. The API is still in development, but you can get in on the ground floor with the beta. (Another interesting product in this genre is the Egg Minder - an IoT device designed to tell you how many eggs you have left in the refrigerator.)

Of course, the question is where real products will come into play. What vendors need to consider with IoT is how to create products people actually need. For example, people really do need to monitor various not-internet-of-thingsenvironmental conditions, including things like freezer temperatures. Companies, such as Monnit, provide devices to perform all sorts of monitoring using IoT devices. The iMonnit API makes it possible for developers to write applications to interact with these devices so that it's possible to use the sensors in unique ways. (Just in case you need that solution for a home environment, try SmartHome instead.) The point is that this is the promise of IoT that hype products tend to miss.

Connecting Diverse Products
Some people have gotten the idea that IoT is all about connecting disparate devices together in some manner - that somehow it will be possible to use a single app to control every aspect of a home, business, or industrial setting. The IoT isn't an actual networking solution today. In fact, like most new technologies, the IoT suffers from a serious amount of proprietary solutions. When working with IoT devices, you need to consider issues such as:

  • Hubs: Each vendor seems to use a proprietary hub so that you need one hub for each product type. Some vendors don't use hubs. Getting products that avoid the whole hub mess is the best way to go.
  • Subscriptions: If you work through a cable service or telephone company, you'll almost certainly end up having a subscription to a service that makes your device accessible. Some other vendors go this route too. Unless the product has something special to offer, having to pay a monthly subscription fee to access the hardware you bought seems like a bad idea.
  • Headless Devices: Some devices don't offer any sort of control system, other than a smartphone or other computing device. What this means is that you actually need another device to control the device you wanted to interact with in the first place. In general, avoid headless devices when you can. You shouldn't need a smartphone to control the temperature of a building.
  • Differing Protocols: Various vendors use different protocols. One vendor might rely on Bluetooth, while another relies on ZigBee. Obtaining devices that all use the same protocol is the best way to ensure you have at least a chance of controlling the devices using the same approach.

Fortunately, some vendors, such as Cisco, recognize that connectivity is important. However, even though Cisco has been working on these solutions since 2013, a perfect solution still remains to be seen. The Cisco IoT Field Network Director does offer the promise of consolidation, however, because it extends the network out to the device. This technology makes it possible to manage your devices using a single application. The concept is extended further by using a technique called fog computing, where the cloud is extended to the edge of the network.

The point is that IoT will eventually become more standardized and devices will become plug-and-play in nature, but you can't count on it today. What you need to look at is one IoT device connected to a single application. When possible, try to get all your devices from a single vendor who also provides an API so you can create applications to interact with the devices as needed.

Securing the IoT Solutions
You can find a number of stories that describe some of the horrors of using IoT devices in just about any environment. For example, a review of Honeywell's smart thermostat system tells precisely what a disgruntled husband can do to his ex-wife. (Whether the story is real or not is the topic of much speculation, but it's completely feasible. You can check out other stories of this sort at http://www.infoworld.com/article/2930366/internet-of-things/welcome-to-the-smart-home-of-horror.html). Currently, the IoT environment is anything but safe. If you want a secure environment, then you need to keep off the Internet or rely on secure Internet solutions.

Groups like theowasp_logo_400x400 Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) are trying to educate vendors and developers alike on safe coding practices for IoT, but even with a concise top ten list of things everyone should check, security is still an issue for IoT. However, security will improve. Companies, such as Nest, are making security a prime focus and telling potential customers about the efforts being made on their behalf.

The Bottom Line
The IoT is a new industry of technology that provides non-standard solutions to myriad problems. Some solutions are quite usable; others aren't worth the time needed to seriously consider them. You won't get a completely secure, standardized solution to meet most needs today unless you take the time to perform the required research and shop carefully from a single vendor. However, there are changes in the wind and eventually IoT will become the standardized environment we all wanted in the first place. For now, you need to think about whether that Egg Minder really is the device of your dreams.

More Stories By SmartBear Blog

As the leader in software quality tools for the connected world, SmartBear supports more than two million software professionals and over 25,000 organizations in 90 countries that use its products to build and deliver the world’s greatest applications. With today’s applications deploying on mobile, Web, desktop, Internet of Things (IoT) or even embedded computing platforms, the connected nature of these applications through public and private APIs presents a unique set of challenges for developers, testers and operations teams. SmartBear's software quality tools assist with code review, functional and load testing, API readiness as well as performance monitoring of these modern applications.

@ThingsExpo Stories
Existing Big Data solutions are mainly focused on the discovery and analysis of data. The solutions are scalable and highly available but tedious when swapping in and swapping out occurs in disarray and thrashing takes place. The resolution for thrashing through machine learning algorithms and support nomenclature is through simple techniques. Organizations that have been collecting large customer data are increasingly seeing the need to use the data for swapping in and out and thrashing occurs ...
Amazon started as an online bookseller 20 years ago. Since then, it has evolved into a technology juggernaut that has disrupted multiple markets and industries and touches many aspects of our lives. It is a relentless technology and business model innovator driving disruption throughout numerous ecosystems. Amazon’s AWS revenues alone are approaching $16B a year making it one of the largest IT companies in the world. With dominant offerings in Cloud, IoT, eCommerce, Big Data, AI, Digital Assista...
New competitors, disruptive technologies, and growing expectations are pushing every business to both adopt and deliver new digital services. This ‘Digital Transformation’ demands rapid delivery and continuous iteration of new competitive services via multiple channels, which in turn demands new service delivery techniques – including DevOps. In this power panel at @DevOpsSummit 20th Cloud Expo, moderated by DevOps Conference Co-Chair Andi Mann, panelists will examine how DevOps helps to meet th...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloudistics, an on-premises cloud computing company, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Cloudistics delivers a complete public cloud experience with composable on-premises infrastructures to medium and large enterprises. Its software-defined technology natively converges network, storage, compute, virtualization, and management into a ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that A&I Solutions has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Founded in 1999, A&I Solutions is a leading information technology (IT) software and services provider focusing on best-in-class enterprise solutions. By partnering with industry leaders in technology, A&I assures customers high performance levels across all IT environments including: mai...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Outscale, a global pure play Infrastructure as a Service provider and strategic partner of Dassault Systèmes, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Founded in 2010, Outscale simplifies infrastructure complexities and boosts the business agility of its customers. Outscale delivers a secure, reliable and industrial strength solution for its customers, which in...
In order to meet the rapidly changing demands of today’s customers, companies are continually forced to redefine their business strategies in order to meet these needs, stay relevant and continue to see profitable growth. IoT deployment and development is integral in this transformation, and today businesses are increasingly seeing the value of investing their resources into IoT deployments. These technologies are able increase ROI through projects such as connecting supply chains or enabling sm...
Every successful software product evolves from an idea to an enterprise system. Notably, the same way is passed by the product owner's company. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Oleg Lola, CEO of MobiDev, will provide a generalized overview of the evolution of a software product, the product owner, the needs that arise at various stages of this process, and the value brought by a software development partner to the product owner as a response to these needs.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Tappest will exhibit MooseFS at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. MooseFS is a breakthrough concept in the storage industry. It allows you to secure stored data with either duplication or erasure coding using any server. The newest – 4.0 version of the software enables users to maintain the redundancy level with even 50% less hard drive space required. The software func...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute, owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Interoute is the owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform which encompasses 12 data centers, 14 virtual data centers and 31 colocation centers, with connections to 195 add...
SYS-CON Events announced today that EARP will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. "We are a software house, so we perfectly understand challenges that other software houses face in their projects. We can augment a team, that will work with the same standards and processes as our partners' internal teams. Our teams will deliver the same quality within the required time and budget just as our partn...
Most technology leaders, contemporary and from the hardware era, are reshaping their businesses to do software in the hope of capturing value in IoT. Although IoT is relatively new in the market, it has already gone through many promotional terms such as IoE, IoX, SDX, Edge/Fog, Mist Compute, etc. Ultimately, irrespective of the name, it is about deriving value from independent software assets participating in an ecosystem as one comprehensive solution.
SYS-CON Events announced today that delaPlex will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. delaPlex pioneered Software Development as a Service (SDaaS), which provides scalable resources to build, test, and deploy software. It’s a fast and more reliable way to develop a new product or expand your in-house team.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Systena America will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Systena Group has been in business for various software development and verification in Japan, US, ASEAN, and China by utilizing the knowledge we gained from all types of device development for various industries including smartphones (Android/iOS), wireless communication, security technology and IoT serv...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Outscale will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Outscale's technology makes an automated and adaptable Cloud available to businesses, supporting them in the most complex IT projects while controlling their operational aspects. You boost your IT infrastructure's reactivity, with request responses that only take a few seconds.
Everywhere we turn in our industry we can find strong opinions about the direction, type and nature of cloud’s impact on computing and business. Another word that is used in every context in our industry is “hybrid.” In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Alvaro Gonzalez, Director of Technical, Partner and Field Marketing at Peak 10, will use a combination of a few conceptual props and some research recently commissioned by Peak 10 to offer a real-world consideration of how the various categories of...
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
DevOps at Cloud Expo – being held October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – announces that its Call for Papers is open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the world's largest enterprises – and delivering real r...
Five years ago development was seen as a dead-end career, now it’s anything but – with an explosion in mobile and IoT initiatives increasing the demand for skilled engineers. But apart from having a ready supply of great coders, what constitutes true ‘DevOps Royalty’? It’ll be the ability to craft resilient architectures, supportability, security everywhere across the software lifecycle. In his keynote at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Jeffrey Scheaffer, GM and SVP, Continuous Delivery Busine...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CollabNet, a global leader in enterprise software development, release automation and DevOps solutions, will be a Bronze Sponsor of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, taking place from June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CollabNet offers a broad range of solutions with the mission of helping modern organizations deliver quality software at speed. The company’s latest innovation, the DevOps Lifecycle Manager (DLM), supports Value S...