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Open Source Protocols and Architectures to Fix the Internet of Things

Alasdair Allan (Babilim Light Industries)
Open Hardware
E147/148
Average rating: ****.
(4.25, 8 ratings)

Everyday objects are becoming smarter. In ten years’ time, every piece of clothing you own, every piece of jewellery you wear, and every thing you carry with you will be measuring, weighing and calculating your life. In ten years, the world — your world — will be full of sensors.

The problem? The things are becoming smarter, but they’re also becoming selfish. Your lightbulbs aren’t talking to your media centre, your media centre isn’t talking to your blinds, and nobody is talking to the thermostat. Instead of talking to each other, everything is talking to you—you’ve ended up as a mechanical turk inside someone else’s software.

That situation can’t continue, we need to fix the Internet of Things. As our computing continues its diffusion out into the environment we need our things to work together. The things have to become not just smarter, but more co-operative, they need to become anticipatory rather than reactive.

Right now we have not so much an Internet of Things, but a series of Islands of Things. I present open source protocols and architectures that will help solve this trouble with the Internet of Things.

Photo of Alasdair Allan

Alasdair Allan

Babilim Light Industries

Alasdair Allan is a director at Babilim Light Industries and a scientist, author, hacker, maker, and journalist. An expert on the internet of things and sensor systems, he’s famous for hacking hotel radios, deploying mesh networked sensors through the Moscone Center during Google I/O, and for being behind one of the first big mobile privacy scandals when, back in 2011, he revealed that Apple’s iPhone was tracking user location constantly. He’s written eight books and writes regularly for Hackster.io, Hackaday, and other outlets. A former astronomer, he also built a peer-to-peer autonomous telescope network that detected what was, at the time, the most distant object ever discovered.