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Unified platform for IoT is overrated

Posted: 19 Mar 2015     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:IoT  sensor  unified platform  Samsung  EMV standard 

The Internet of Things (IoT) is an up-and-running technology. That much is true. Devices 'talking' to one another is no longer a thing of the future. It is a technology that exists and is functional, at the very least. While it is far from being perfect, IoT, in all its aspects and applications, has brought the vision of 'connected devices' into reality.

The IoT does not need a unified platform, despite fears of a standards war, fragmentation and food fights to get a piece of the IoT.

The IoT was in the spotlight at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas where technology industry heavyweights showcased their latest range of internet connected products and plans for interoperability. One of the biggest proponents of the IoT was Samsung, whose CEO B.K. Yoon announced a $100 million investment to create an open development platform to ensure the imminent flood of Internet-enabled devices can communicate with each other.

From the successful examples of connected systems I've seen already in action around the world, I question whether his vision of a single platform to manage all devices is really necessary.

Yes, there's been a lot of debate about the IoT standards race and whether we will have another VHS vs Beta situation on our hands. However, there are plenty of applicable and relevant standards available that are being leveraged to meet specific IoT needs.

Contactless payments

For example the EMV standard for contactless payments are accessible to all and can be applied in card format or via mobile platforms, such as Apple Pay, and can even be used to buy tickets on public transport or for access to events and stadiums. Beacon technology also has wide ranging use in retail, and also in city infrastructure such as parking and waste management.

This is where I see the greatest benefits and efficiencies from IoT: in smart transport, city infrastructure, and services. Think about an Internet connected car that can direct you towards an empty car space, or public transit networks that provide services based on real-time demand.

Many of these systems are in operation today with standards interoperability yet to become an issue. We're even starting to see IoT technology develop in workplaces and cities.

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