The thing that caught my attention in yesterdays Google I/O conference was the new (renewed?) focus on IoT. And this time, it looked like Google went back to basics. Back to the drawing boards. I like this idea. The Internet of Things (IoT) is not something that is going to be a fad and move into oblivion or mainstream in a few years and forgotten about. It is something that is going to grow over time. There will be an ecosystem around it. It will get smarter. It will become more pervasive. And it is going to stay for a long time.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is not something that is going to be a fad and move into oblivion or mainstream in a few years and forgotten about. It is something that is going to grow over time. There will be an ecosystem around it. It will get smarter. It will become more pervasive. And it is going to stay for a long time. The applications are many. From smarter homes to smarter public transportation systems. From cleaner cities to more energy optimization. From personal convenience (sometimes bordering on creepy?) to mainstream production. From retail to manufacturing. Everywhere. And here is where I get to make an almost sci-fi’ish statement – “Here is where machines will talk to each other.”
For this to happen, the basics need to be right. Almost like how Android started.
Google has introduced Project Brillo, which it claims to be the operating system for the IoT. It is a low-level layer of Android which can be ’embedded’ into the machines that are going to be part of the eco-system. These could be your Nest thermostat, smart LED bulbs, or in the future – smart ovens, smart refrigerators, smart dead-bolts (door locks) etc.
The second part of the puzzle is a standard communication protocol by which these machines will talk to each other. Google introduced a new protocol called “Weave”. (Somehow these names also seem refreshing opposed to IEEE 455.34 or something similar). The weave protocol will be a standardized protocol, which will enable any machine to talk to another machine, or to a phone, or to the internet — which is pretty much the internet of things. This where the magic happens. This is how your phone and your car will tell your coffee maker to start brewing and tell your thermostat to warm your living room, when you are 5 minutes from reaching your home.
Google is also going to be starting a Weave certification, so that third party product manufacturers can make weave ready products. This opens up the ecosystem that I was talking about. Guys like WeMo and Belkin will jump on to the bandwagon first. And then more common-place companies like the Black and Deckers. And then in parallel, the Fords and GMs.
I am liking this world now.
image src: arstechnica