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Commentary
8/27/2014
09:06 AM
Andrew Binstock
Andrew Binstock
Commentary
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The Internet Of Overhyped Things

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.

Read the rest of this article on Dr. Dobb's.

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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asksqn
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asksqn,
User Rank: Ninja
8/28/2014 | 5:39:53 PM
Idiocracy
So the fridge and the DVR needs to be connected to the internet **just** so you will know the temperature and how much hard drive space is left?  LOL gosh, I dunno how the human race managed to survive up to this point without it.   /sarcasm

Thanks for the chuckle.  You nailed the idiocy of the IoT dead on.
Andrew Binstock
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Andrew Binstock,
User Rank: Author
8/27/2014 | 5:11:16 PM
The Internet of Overhyped Things
All good points. Thanks!
Thomas Claburn
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Thomas Claburn,
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8/27/2014 | 4:24:16 PM
The sad truth
The tech industry is already pining for a revolution as significant as putting computers in our pockets. Sadly, the networking of things will not, in the near term, shake things up in the same way. Further work needs to be done on low-power communications, energy harvesting from sunlight and motion, battery efficiency, and other aspects of science before the IoT truly comes into its own. In the meantime, it will matter to businesses that need to track things. But communication between objects is generally far less valuable then communication among people.
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