Monday, 6 January 2014

Open and Local, not Closed and Cloud

I came across this excellent article by T.Rob Wyatt yesterday. Go and read it..

OK, so if you didn't jump that link, here're some juicy quotes for you:

What is holding up the Internet of Things is that people do not want to buy devices that deeply penetrate their veil of personal privacy and then send fine-grained data about them back to device manufacturers.


Screw in a Philips Hue bulb and all of a sudden that switch on the wall is worse than useless. You have to duct tape it in the “on” position to make the bulb fully functional and then are forced to use your phone to control the bulb. What LED “smart” bulbs need is a wall switch that passes power straight through but sends commands to the bulb using the API. 

And the Big One:

It is the open, local API that is missing from the Internet of Things.

Open and Local, not Closed and Cloud

Consider the Ninja Sphere - it depends on the remote servers to manage and run your rules.

Consider the British Gas Hive offering, which was splattered across Waterloo this morning:

Its website to control your heating is hosted by them, not you. British Gas gets to see every single heating adjustment you make, via the website or the app. And there's no API, at least not yet. Another app, another silo, another lock-in, another privacy leak.

The IoT will blossom once everyone just accepts the inevitable and opens up all their devices on the local network.

You should be able to choose a favourite way to see and control your home, office or factory, regardless of the provenance and technology of the sensors and actuators: the (single) app you like, the rule system you like. It should all just work together, with hardly any set-up, and not let in or out without you knowing and agreeing.

My Manifesto for the IoT describes this vision, and this blog documents my own explorations of it.

Obviously, I believe that one day everyone's favourite choice will be the NetMash app and NetMash servers, implementing the Object Network approach, programming in Cyrus rules.

And Finally..

Here's a nice bit of sloganising from the article by T.Rob:

Hardware is the new software.
Crowdfunding is the new VC.
Makers are the new kingmakers.

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