The Internet of Things

So what do you think the Internet of Things is? Does your understanding label it as a bottle of milk talking to your refrigerator? It's a lot more than that, and that is why companies like IBM, Cisco, and GE are involved in a very big way.

Some people call it M2M (Machine to Machine), others are talking about the Ubiquitous Sensor Network. They are all variations of the same thing and standards will play a big part in the creation of the Internet of Things.

I have just returned from Wuxi, China, the cente rof the work being done on the Internet of Things in China. Wuxi New District is a planned community with many companies and organizations already have office space in this area. We visited with several of the companies and saw examples of the work they are doing from Cloud Storage to sensing traffic, to monitoring pollution, to tracking power management. We saw examples of new technology face tracking and identification alongside location technology accurate to 15mm.

The next day we attended a Europe-China conference on the Internet of Things and heard speakers from both China and Europe detail the work they are doing in this arena.

Finally I attended several days of meetings of the CASAGRAS2 project (http://www.iot-casagras.org/) to discuss projects around the world related to the Internet of Things. I learned that a highly successful academic conference had been held in Wuxi a few days before I arrived. That another academic conference and an educational conference will be held this week in Kuala Lumpur. They have over 300 people signed up for these sessions.

The same group of people will be presenting an educational session at the RFID Journal Live pre-conference in April (http://www.rfidjournalevents.com/live/internet.php). Another group of sessions are being finalized in the South American region in early September, and discussions have started for an event in September in the USA.

What does this have to do with RFID Standards?

RFID is without doubt, a key enabler for the Internet of Things. Standards for the air interface, the data protocols, the security, the communications are all a key part of the system. Many of these will already exist, others will need to be written. Many still need to be identified.

Some of the organizations that will be involved include ISO/IEC JTC 1, AIM, as well as several National Standards organizations. If this is something that is important to you, then you need to get involved now. AIM has an initiative for its members (email: iot@aimglobal.org). Contact your National Body to learn more about the work in ISO/IEC.

Steve Halliday
Feb 27, 2011