Thursday, December 26, 2013

'Internet of Things (IoT)' morphs into the 'Internet of Everything (IoE)'

The numbers are staggering.  Gartner predicts that the total economic value add for the Internet of Things (IoT)will be $1.9 trillion dollars in 2020, spread across all industries – especially in healthcare. McKinsey Global Institute pegs the potential economic impact at $2.7 trillion to $6.2 trillion by 2025. IDC put the Internet of things technology and services spending at $4.8 trillion in 2012 and expects the market to be $8.9 trillion in 2020.  Cisco Systems has published a white paper entitled "Embracing the Internet of Everything To Capture Your Share of $14.4 Trillion". Key to this rapidly evolving market are open standards and open source technology.


The 'Internet of Things' refers to the equipping of all physical objects in the world with some form of minuscule identifying devices or computer sensors that can be inter-connected or networked together.

However, as the sensors embedded in these 'things' are enhanced and add new capabilities like context awareness, increased data processing power, and more sophisticated communications features, what we currently refer to as the Internet of Things (IoT) is morphing into something called the Internet of Everything (IoE).  The definition of these terms continue to evolve as development and implementation of the concepts and technologies move forward.

The Internet currently connects anywhere from 10 to 15 billion devices. That equates to less than 1 percent of  'things'. According to ABI Research, by 2020 more than 30 billion devices will be wirelessly connected to the Internet of Things (IoT), or the Internet of Everything (IoE). By 2050, there will be trillions of inter-connected 'things' not only all around us, but also 'inside' us.

According to McKinsey & Company, "the widespread adoption of the Internet of Things (IoT) will take time, but the time line is advancing thanks to improvements in underlying technologies. Advances in wireless networking technology and the greater standardization of communications protocols make it possible to collect data from these sensors almost anywhere at any time." They peg the potential economic impact of IoT at $2.7 trillion to $6.2 trillion by 2025.

Gartner predicts that the Internet of Everything (IoE) will add $1.9 trillion to the global economy by 2020. It is expected that the numbers related to IoE will continue to climb over the next several decades given falling costs, adoption of open standards, emergence of innovative open hardware solutions, and the growth of cloud computing.

IDC put the Internet of things technology and services spending at $4.8 trillion in 2012 and expects the market to be $8.9 trillion in 2020. IDC said the installed base of things connected will be 212 billion by the end of 2020, including 30.1 billion connected autonomous things. Intelligent systems will be installed and collecting data by this point.

'Open Source' and the Internet of Everything (IoE)

Jim Zemlin recently wrote an excellent article entitled Open Source Tears Down Walled Gardens to Connect 'Internet of Everything'. He states that "a big impediment to the Internet of Everything’s economic promise and technology advances is interoperability -- the ability to intelligently share information across electronic devices and systems regardless of product brand." Bottom line, IoE doesn’t work unless 'everything' works together.

According to Zemlin, "Open source is the ideal, neutral staging area for collaboration that can provide the interoperability layer needed to make the Internet of Everything a reality. When everyone jointly develops and uses the same freely available code, companies can develop innovative services on top of it and get them to market faster."

Apparently many others agree with that conclusion. Witness the emergence of the AllSeen Alliance, a non-profit consortium of major corporations dedicated to driving the widespread adoption of products, systems and services that will enable the 'Internet of Everything', built upon an open, universal development framework and supported by

Members of the Alliance are helping to build the next wave of connected smart TVs, appliances, automobiles, and home automation - the 'Internet of Things' or the 'Internet of Everything' -  by using 'open source' AllJoyn software to develop interoperable devices, apps and consumer services. 
Members include many of the world’s leading technology companies, manufacturers and service providers, e.g. Panasonic, Qualcomm, Sharp, Sears, LG Electronics, Google, Cisco.

Another reason open source will play a key role in the IoE revolution is that much of the consumer electronics world have already adopted and embedded the Linux operating system in their devices. 

Companies have recognized that it is both impractical and too costly for any one of them to try and write their own proprietary code for the millions of different systems that will make up the Internet of Everything.

Qualcomm, which reported almost $7 billion in profits on $25 billion in sales over this past year is investing considerable resources into IoE technology and solutions- to make the "digital sixth sense" a reality.
• Intel is determined not to miss the Internet of Things (IoT) movement.  Under CEO Brian Krzanich, Intel is pursuing a new family of chips especially suited for 'wearables' and other small devices. Read about Intel's 'open source' Galileo computer and Quark chips.
• IBM has teamed up with wireless sensor builder Libelium to offer an IoT starter kit that would let customers deploy dozens of different sensor applications. The kit integrates Libelium's Waspmote wireless sensor platform with IBM's Mote Runner software and 6LoWPAN.
• Cisco has unveiled the nPower chip, a super-fast processor designed to funnel the enormous volumes of data that the Internet of Things (IoT) will generate.

Internet of Everything (IoE) in Healthcare

Analysts at Gartner predict that the emergence of the IoE will help add $1.9 trillion to the economy, spread across manufacturing, healthcare, and other industries, over the next six years.  It is expected that by 2020, there will be an average 22 connected devices per U.S. home.

In a white paper prepared for Cisco Systems entitled "Embracing the Internet of Everything To Capture Your Share of $14.4 Trillion", it estimates that $106 billion of total value is at stake for those companies that use the Internet of Everything (IoE) to facilitate connected healthcare and patient monitoring.

Many of the inefficiencies In healthcare today can be eliminated as the IoE goes into place. For example, many measurements and tests that are currently administered manually can be performed by sensors embedded in a wide range of medical devices, e.g. diagnostic equipment, drug dispensing systems, surgical robots, implantable devices, drip machines, personal health and fitness sensors.

The growing number of inexpensive IoE sensors and connections used in  smart home monitoring systems will allow for shorter hospital stays.  The use of many of these new and emerging IoE systems will result in a fundamental shift in how healthcare providers deliver services and interact with their patients.

Libelium has just released a new e-Health sensor platform, the e-Health Sensor Shield V2.0, which allows Arduino and Raspberry Pi users to perform biometric and medical applications where body monitoring is needed by using 10 different sensors.

Final Observations & Conclusions

The Internet of Everything (IoE) is going to create new markets and a new economy for the 21st century. Estimates of the dollar value associated with IoE are all over the place – but all figures mentioned are staggering. They run from $1.9 trillion to more then $14 trillion over the next decade.

According to a white paper by Gartner, the verticals that are leading its adoption are manufacturing (15%), healthcare (15%), and insurance (11%).

Even as industries continue to move rapidly forward with plans to build the Internet of Everything (IoE), arguments are being made that not enough thought is being given to privacy, security, ethics, and the potential for a great number of unintended negative consequences. The need for more public debate about issues like this seems obvious, given the many recent revelations about NSA's unauthorized spying on American citizens. The potential for abuse of the technology by governments and private companies is very real.

Finally, it appears that for the Internet of Everything(IoE) to bring real value, industry should continue to adopt and build on open standards. To move things along and keep costs down, the industry should also continue to use 'open source' software such as - embedded operating systems software (Linux, Android);  network infrastructure (IPv6); web software (Java, LAMP stack);  cloud infrastructure (OpenStack, CloudStack, Eucalyptus); M2M software stacks (Mango, DeviceHive, Mihini); RFID software (OpenBeacon, Fostrak); database systems (Hadoop,  HBase, Mongo, NoSQL ).

With the Internet of Everything (IoE), we are now diving headlong into the 21st century and the 'Information Age'.   P.S. - If you thought things have been changing rapidly, think again. It's about to get real wild.

Other Selected IoT / IoE Links

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