It’s surprising how new concepts creep up on us, almost unnoticed, until we hear a name or phrase that gives life to the idea. So it is with the Internet of Things, the linking together of everyday items to work for our benefit. We are all familiar with computerised control of individual domestic products. My new Samsung washer is a flashing marvel of computerised efficiency compared with its six-year-old predecessor. Even my new kettle knows about correct temperatures for tea, green or black, and even coffee (90 degrees, not 100). But to connect them all together is another thing. It needs common standards, for once thing.
Things for the Internet of Things are looking up. The Linux foundation is instrumental in forming the AllSeen Alliance which will develop an open-source framework to enable inter-device communication. Leading members in the technology industry, including Qualcomm and Cisco, are joining manufacturers of household devices including LG and Panasonic to work out a common strategy. A major player is Qualcomm which is contibuting its pioneering AllJoyn technology.
Sean Hollister’s article in The Verge explains why all our domestic devices could soon be chattering to one another. It’s a another step towards the home robot–not the vacuum-wielding humanoid of 1950s imagination but a quiet alliance of gadgets to make our life simpler.