Making the Internet of Things a reality

On March 18, 2014, Atmel and Arrow hosted a Tech on Tour (ToT) panel discussion in San Francisco’s SoMa neighborhood about the rapidly evolving Internet of Things (IoT). Moderated by Jeremy Geelan, panel participants included Omri Lachman of Humavox, Dominic Pajak of ARM, Christopher Kim of August Smart Locks and Atmel’s Kaivan Karimi.

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ARM’s Dominic Pajak helped kick off the discussion by noting that the Internet of Things (IoT) has successfully sparked the imagination of both industry heavyweights and the masses. Indeed, a number of development boards, such as the Atmel-powered Arduino and Raspberry Pi, along with various wearables, are helping to put IoT technology in the hands of the people. Like all panel participants, Pajak noted that there were critical challenges – including adoption of standards and ensuring security – to overcome.

“IoT standards do exist today via the IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force), the very same standards body that originally defined IPv6. Specific examples include CoAP (constrained applications protocol) and 6LoWPAN. What is still emerging is the wide adoption and deployment of devices that run these protocols,” he explained. “Nevertheless, the IoT is steadily moving forward. While specific privacy policies have yet to be completely ironed out, the market will likely adapt to ensure consumer expectations are met.”

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Pajak emphasized that he remained optimistic about the future of the IoT, which, if successfully implemented, could even lead to the rise of smart cities all over the world.

Omri Lachman of Humavox expressed similar sentiments, confirming that the IoT’s impact is already being significantly felt in the healthcare space, with devices such as connected heart monitors helping to change the lives of patients around the world.

“Our daily lives are more connected now than ever before. Everything is becoming centralized, both on a hardware and software level,” he said. “Plus, we are definitely starting to see various corporations, entities and ideas finding each other. From fashion and tech, to healthcare and wearables, it is all coming together and changing the way we do business.”

Meanwhile, Christopher Kim of August Locks noted that science fiction was quickly becoming fact thanks to the IoT, especially in the home automation sector, as is illustrated by Google’s recent acquisition of NEST.

“We are definitely past future shock. Consumers are becoming more familiar with the concept. It is no longer space age or futuristic to expect a house and its appliances to respond to the needs or commands of a resident or family,” he said.

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“That being said, we take security and privacy very seriously, both on an external, practical level, as well as internally when we talk about opportunities for additional monetization.”

Similarly, Atmel’s Kaivan Karimi focused on how rapidly the Internet of Things is evolving by integrating various connected capabilities in our daily lives that range from consumer and health to intelligent, autonomous Google cars.

“For the IoT to thrive, the industry must continue to consolidate standards across multiple connected segments. In addition, security and privacy can definitely make or break the IoT, at least from a mass market perspective,” he said. “Of course there are always going to be people with evil intent. That isn’t the question. Rather, the challenge is how to best manage and protect the terabytes of valuable data generated by various IoT devices. I personally believe the need for comprehensive security and privacy policies are so pressing that it will prompt our legislators to take appropriate action.”

According to Karimi, future IoT models will likely see individuals opting in and out of specific data collection options, ranging from devices tasked with glucose monitoring to platforms like real time breathalyzers and wearables that measure physical responses to specific activities.

“In addition to wearables, cars are also going through a massive transformation, no less significant than the migration from analog to digital,” he added. “We are entering an age where drivers will not only step up their interaction with their vehicles, but cars will also start talking to each other to avoid fatalities, as well as monitor the weather in real time and even alert drivers to natural disasters such as tsunamis and flooded roads.”

Interested in learning more about Atmel and the IoT? You can check out our article archive on the subject here.

15 thoughts on “Making the Internet of Things a reality

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