The Internet of Things refers to uniquely identifiable objects (things) and their virtual representations in an Internet-like structure. Stated differently, the concept involves the notion that there are many things (assets, objects, etc.) in the world that may be addressed/labeled/cataloged for various purposes. In all cases, there is a need for communication, which may occur over great distances or within close proximity to the item. Examples include everything from telemetry applications such as monitoring remote electric utility infrastructure via wireless connections via machine-to-machine (M2M) connections to proximity applications such as reader-tag interactions that occur via Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) solutions involving Near Field Communications (NFC) or other methods.
It is important to recognize that this naming convention, “Internet” of Things, refers to an Internet-like structure in which “things” have an electronic address/label, mapping or relationship between themselves and other items, communications between them and other items and/or data repositories.
While the Internet in its current form may be the best platform for supporting these functions initially, an evolved Internet, which relies upon other technologies, will likely be required.
For example, SRI Consulting Business Intelligence has established a roadmap that depicts an evolution to what they refer to as “Teleoperation and Telepresence: The ability to Monitor and Control Distant Objects”. We agree with this vision, and while the specific timing as represented in their above chart may different from the actual realized evolution, we believe this is clearly the general direction for The Internet of Things.
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