Earlier this month at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, a new “Internet of Things Consortium” was announced bringing together 10 companies with the stated goal of fostering and supporting the growth of Internet-connected devices for consumers. The consortium has a website now visible at iofthings.org.
The term “Internet of Things” has been around for some time (Wikipedia dates the first use to 1999) and is generally used to refer to the networks of devices and objects that we are connecting to the Internet and that are using the Internet for communication. Sensor networks are an example. Another is connected homes where lights, appliances and even power outlets might all be connected. A number of the companies involved with this consortium make game consoles, televisions and other entertainment devices that would be connected to a home network and on out to the public Internet.
All of these devices are ultimately connected to the Internet – and communicating often amongst themselves in so-called “machine-to-machine” or “m2m” connections.
Now, this new Internet Of Things Consortium is not the first or only such consortium out there. There are other alliances and groups that are working on promoting open standards for connected homes and devices. But it’s great to see another group of companies working in this space. The CEO of Ube, one of the participants, was quoted in a TechCrunch article as saying in part this:
“The successful adoption of [machine-to-machine] and connected home technologies is dependent on open standards for the provisioning and control of millions of headless devices.”
Here at Deploy360 we’ve been interested in the “Internet of Things” for a long time because to bring all the billions of devices (and power outlets!) onto the Internet, we’re going to need more IP addresses than what we can get with IPv4. I queried the new consortium about their IPv6 support and the consortium chairman Jason Johnson came back with this response:
We should absolutely support IPv6 – or there won’t be billions of devices with IP addresses.
That’s exactly right… and I look forward to seeing what they do in this regard and helping them if they need it.
Some out there regard the “Internet Of Things” as marketing hype… but the reality is that we are connecting more and more devices to the Internet. It is happening today – and we’re going to need IPv6 to make it all work!