Yet another article today on how standards are necessary for IoT to progress:
This time, the article focuses on consumer IoT. Specifically, on how it is difficult to set up the many, siloed devices. The article argues that — because each system is siloed — each new device must be connected to the consumer’s phone (for the Internet part of IoT) differently. Each connection is a pain to set up, and tenuous at best once connected. The article draws on examples including Fitbit, which it argues should be part of a collection of services around health and wellness. Similarly, smart home devices, such as connected refrigerators and smart door locks need to be collected in a “butler” system (iRobot, please take note!).
One of the reasons that each connected system is siloed, and each setup is cumbersome to arrange and unreliable, is that the layers in the IoT stack do not work together well. Devices must talk to Networks must work with Routing must play nice with Application Protocol must communicate to Applications. And, though standards exist, they are not being use consistently. This is due to a number of factors, not least of which is vendor protectionism, in which companies try to use proprietary standards to hold consumers to their brand. It didn’t work for Sony with Betamax, it didn’t work for Microsoft with the Information Superhighway, and it’s not working for IoT.
Standards make it possible for different devices, different layers of the stack, and different organisations to work together, while still leaving ample room for competitive advantage and commercial success. With standards, the siloed IoT devices in the above health and home examples could work together, providing more and better services. They would also be easier to connect, because each layer in the IoT stack would play nice with the layers on either side. Standards allow each layer to “know” how to talk to the next, because interface protocols are transparent and accessible. This would make your network connection between your devices and your phone, or your devices and your home hub, or your industrial machinery and your analytics software, easier, more reliable, and more robust.
SensorUp’s SensorThings API Platform is in the “IoT Data Interoperability” range of the stack diagram shown here. The OGC SensorThings API standard provides an open, transparent standard for both data model and interface. The standard is governed by the third-party OGC, so it is maintained and governed independently, making it stable and useable by all.
We’re on a mission to open up IoT, to make systems interoperable, so that IoT is accessible, useful, and provides the maximum potential benefit to humanity. Join us! Start with SensorUp’s SensorThings API Platform, or learn more at sensorup.com.