Finding Inspiration in the Internet of Everything
We are lucky enough in San Diego to have a very active networking scene for the technology community – including our very own CommNexus organization, which hit the ball out of the park last week with an excellent primer session on the “Internet of Everything” (IoE).
As the buzz would have it, IoE – in the past known as Machine to Machine (M2M) or Internet of Things (IoT) - presents a once-in-a–generation opportunity for the technology industry and a shakeup of the value chain for technology incumbents & startups alike. IoE is about pervasive connectivity and communication between people, but more importantly autonomously between everyday devices and processes.
Leading the presentation lineup was Pankaj Srivastava, Vice President, Software Solutions & Platforms at Cisco – a company which is already naturally heavily invested in the IoE space – case examples of which formed the core of Pankaj’s story.
An introductory video offered a tongue in cheek virtuous circle of action and reaction across domestic and industrial automation. Cisco of course is all about networking infrastructure, but the story plays out as more than just people and device sending data to and from the rather over hyped “cloud.”
In fact one less abstract application cemented the value of distributed intelligence, analysis and feedback – what Cisco characterizes as an intermediate layer of “fog.” The example was of monitoring wear and tear on a train. Connected instruments on wheels and axles etc. are able to help early detection of maintenance issues using a big data approach, which is almost taken for granted (at least in our world of marketing presentations), but where local intelligence can play an even more important role in actually detecting failures and applying brakes before a potentially disastrous derailment. Pankaj was a pretty passionate advocate of the role of distributed intelligence across a wide range of applications. Devices tweeting to devices is a nice summary illustration.
Qualcomm seems equally involved in some of the technologies that underpin communication in this space – but the presentation by Joseph Bousaba, Senior Director, Product Management, was much more driven by product-centric illustrations. There’s no doubt that this new IoE opportunity can’t take off as imagined without continuing improvements in wireless bandwidth, lower power consumption and, of course, in device costs.
In the panel session, the speakers were joined by Dr. Jane Ren, President, of MQIdentity, Inc. who provided a medical applications viewpoint on the opportunity and limitations of communicating devices. Interesting “real world meets technology” observations from her perspective included the concern from medical professionals that simply collecting more data potentially just increases liability risk – and that its where collection of data creates the tangible opportunity for an autonomous local feedback loop that significant new value is created.
Why is this important to the future of Verimatrix? As a company that has helped to drive the adoption of next generation TV delivery through the use of connected devices, we are very much alive to the broader potential of these reliable, persistent networks. But just as security of video delivery is a business critical technology, we believe that the foundations of the IoE world will need to rest on similarly robust security architectures. We look forward to the new opportunities this rapidly evolving marketplace will bring for our specialist skill sets.