Connecting Connected Objects

With resources like Arduino, Twilio, and not to mention KickStarter, there has never been an easier entry point to build for the Internet of Things and link an object, like an air conditioner, to a communication system such as SMS. Although texting your air conditioner might be a good start for the IoT, these hardware-driven, 1-to-1 relationships downgrade connected devices to secluded islands because they don’t have a way of talking to other connected devices.In this semi-connected world, one connected object has no relationship to the other connected object that lives just across the room. Stitching them together is rough and in most cases you need a separate API and app to manage each device, causing a "basket of remotes" problem.

This sucks. So far, universal controls don’t live up to their promise because they still focus on sensors and work only in a confined areas, like the home. This means things like user preferences can't travel across connected environments to the car, store, or office.The current approach of 1-to-1 relationships limits the usefulness of IoT. But there's potential here: If devices could connect to one another, they can also work together. When devices work together, more helpful experiences are made. Here are a few examples:

The Progression of the Internet of Things

To make this happen, the IoT needs a gateway. We think this looks like a web platform with a common API and dashboard that acts as a common translator between devices:

The Internet of Things Tomorrow

Helping devices communicate with each other is an obvious next step towards the future of the Internet of Things. But what's after that? To go further, devices will need to know more about who is using them, and where the interaction happens. We'll need to add user context to the equation. If devices had access to meeting schedules, allergy information, and preferred room temperatures, they would be able to make much deeper connected experiences.

In an upcoming post, we’ll expand on the IoT examples discussed here and take a look at what happens if you add identity context to the mix.