Are we confusing the Internet of Things with embedded, already?

Surveys are the most important, most informative, most insightful and most expressive means of understanding what is going on inside the Information Technology industry — right?

Internet_of_Things-300x295.jpg

Well, let’s assume that you are reading this because you’re not fooled by manufactured un-spontaneous survey contrivance.

So the Internet of Things (IoT) is important and we need lots of surveys to assess its wider worth, correct?

Evans Data thinks so and has questioned 1,400 developers worldwide to find that 17 percent were already working on IoT-related applications… while 23 percent expected to begin projects by next January.

“We’re still in the early stages of development for Internet of Things, even though forward-thinking companies like Cisco and IBM have been promoting and enabling development for an interconnected world for the last several years,” said Janel Garvin, Evans chief executive.

But are we confusing the Internet of Things with embedded, already?

Evans perambulates loquaciously onward, “The technologies needed are now converging with cloud, big data, system embedded systems, real-time event processing, even cognitive computing combining to change the face of the technological landscape we live in, and developers are leading the way.”

There, she said it — she said “embedded”, right there.

In so many places we see that this Internet of Things expression is simply used to convey that which we would normally refer to as embedded development.

Don’t be fooled by the IT industry renaming already established conventions simply for the sake of spin…

… and (perhaps most of all) don’t be fooled by analyst surveys.

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As a designer / developer who has been working in the embedded world for quite a while, I'd say that the IoT is a different animal than embedded development. Granted an IoT application will generally have some embedded device(s) at the endpoints, but what makes the IoT possible is the recent availability of reliable, high speed (relatively speaking), low cost communications. Now you have the capability to monitor and talk in real time (again, relatively speaking) to large numbers of devices potentially spread across a vast area. Combine that with the ability to retrieve, store, and analyze massive quantities of data points, and you have the potential to solve problems that were previously unsolvable and gain insights that let users reduce errors and inefficiencies and improve response times. Successful IoT deployments include traditional embedded systems technologies, but they add new communications, interoperability, security, configuration management, data storage and analysis (including much-maligned "artificial intellegence"), and human-to-machine interface components. As standards in those areas evolve and converge we'll start to realize the true value of the "Internet of Everything."
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This comment just came in from Vaughn Amann -- As a designer / developer who has been working in the embedded world for quite a while, I'd say that the IoT is a different animal than embedded development. Granted an IoT application will generally have some embedded device(s) at the endpoints, but what makes the IoT possible is the recent availability of reliable, high speed (relatively speaking), low cost communications. Now you have the capability to monitor and talk in real time (again, relatively speaking) to large numbers of devices potentially spread across a vast area. Combine that with the ability to retrieve, store, and analyze massive quantities of data points, and you have the potential to solve problems that were previously unsolvable and gain insights that let users reduce errors and inefficiencies and improve response times. Successful IoT deployments include traditional embedded systems technologies, but they add new communications, interoperability, security, configuration management, data storage and analysis (including much-maligned "artificial intellegence"), and human-to-machine interface components. As standards in those areas evolve and converge we'll start to realize the true value of the "Internet of Everything."
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Vaughn and Adrian. Your comments differentiating IoT from embed applications also clearly show why IoT needs a different security methodology. IoT is not just a function of an end to end embedded action caused at the historical data output level. IoT casual process and machine intelligence actions occur during the data input data in motion level and actually can change the other interconnected data output actions in the process. This is the real difference and also the real cybersecurity danger in IoT vs. embedded technologies. We need our security technologies to change just like IoT did in an intelligent real-time data in motion environment. See my presentation video explaining the problems and solution to how this can be corrected: http://www.youtube.com/embed/HQBNyua8L0c
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