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yyrkoon

RANT: Cloud of this, IoT of that . . .

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Money is essentially power when you simplify the concepts a bit.  Finite amounts of money usually beget finite amounts of resources, but humans require a steady stream of resources over time to achieve life, indeed death is the cessation of the continual resource train we require.

 

Thus, those who control the money flow, control life.  That is true "power".

 

And the companies vying for control over the IoT technologies know that their influence could give them structural insight & control over the development of this technology in the future, and they are betting this tech will be disruptive enough that it will become desirable-and eventually necessary for modern society (much as the cellphone has crossed this threshold I would argue), so it's a competition to see who can capture the most converts and followers and convince them to use their products.  Beware the embodied marketing behind most connected technology these days, it's all laced with puppet strings from competing companies just waiting for the right time to "pull" and orchestrate their self-serving surreptitous agenda (that is, of course, not so secret - it's the continual maximization of margin, of having the true structural capability to charge you more money for less so their rich shareholders receive ever more increasing levels of profit).

 

The value of open standards, and of open source, in this arena lies in the power of choice- when technology is based on open standards agreed upon by most, each provider and player can be kept honest by the manner in which their customers can "choose" another vendor without significant pain.  The "IoT" crap we've seen so far is anything BUT open, and open standards may still be a long ways out... initiatives like OpenThread sound promising but, when backed by a zillion companies, beware the politics of sharks when you are nothing but a clownfish.

 

However all this scary capitalism overshadows the real value of connecting things - the "emergent sum" concept, when interconnected and interrelated processes (the promise of IoT, I think?) can create qualities not otherwise intuitive or obvious.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emergence

Base the tech on open standards, and we may all benefit in some form that might not be totally obvious to us until 10-20 years into the future.

Yeah, any connected device lately seems to be coming with useless data storage in the "cloud" or some other equally useless service that is meant to get "them" (them?!) getting a subscription from people.

 

The silliest thing I can think of at the moment . . . was a picture frame with several hundred Gigabytes of data storage on the cloud . . . However, there are probably people in the world who would pay that monthly fee just for the bragging( ePenis) rights. As if . . .

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I think we're currently in the AOL and CompuServe stage of IoT. Here's hope that there's an equivalent of Tim Berners-Lee out there who will invent an open and simple but good-enough way to integrate all these devices.

 

There will always be the Facebooks and Apples that try to capture their users in a closed system, but eventually the system that gives customers the right balance of simplicity and interoperability will dominate. Think HTML and REST over HTTP vs. Corba, J2EE, SOAP and many other dead sophisticated technologies that were supposed to take over the computer-to-computer communication.

 

On the "widget tied to cloud services" tangent: Today, most hardware startups are pressured by their VCs to come up with a business model with recurring revenue. See the many blog posts about hardware business on Bolt.io to get a taste of it, e.g. this one.

 

I doubt that this model is sustainable in the long run for applications where there's no real benefit for the customer to be tied to a vendor's internet service (locks, lights, litter box, fridge, ...). Having to develop and sustain an internet service adds a significant complexity, cost and time-to-market handicap. There will be hardware companies that copy the good idea (automated odor control for the litter box) without the baggage (vendor lock-in for refills, stink when the internet is down, ..), and probably they will be able to sell it to you for less money.

spirilis, Fmilburn, dubnet and 1 other like this

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You know, I'm not exactly sure this has something to do with the cloud, but I could very easily argue that it definitely has IoT potential.

 

Nodejs. Which I can see people very easily, even without a boat load of libraries making web connected appliances. At minimum. But I've actually been using it for much more than that lately. Mostly for test code, for hardware being developed for customers.

 

Anyhow, the high level language aspect, not to mention OO + event driven. Throw in a smidgen of socket.io + custom wrapper , or non wrapper code. You can go a very long way when dealing with real time device interaction.

 

I just mention this though because of what @@chicken had to say about HTML, REST, and all that web development related stuff above. But I still do see it being related somehow, even if just a bit.

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