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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 scientist and researcher who has authored more than 80 peer-reviewed papers and eight books and has been involved with several standards bodies. Originally an astrophysicist, Alasdair now works as a consultant and journalist, focusing on open hardware, machine learning, big data, and emerging technologies, with expertise in electronics, especially wireless devices and distributed sensor networks, mobile computing, and the internet of things. He runs a small consulting company and has written for Make: magazine, Motherboard/VICE, Hackaday, Hackster.io, and the O’Reilly Radar. In the past, he has mesh-networked the Moscone Center, caused a US Senate hearing, and contributed to the detection of what was at the time the most distant object yet discovered.