Open Source Tears Down Walled Gardens to Connect 'Internet of Everything'

Jim Zemlin | | December 10, 2013

The numbers are staggering. Gartner predicts that the 'Internet of Everything' or the 'Internet of Things' -- autonomous communication between a wide range of everyday devices, objects and applications – will add $1.9 trillion to the global economy by 2020. McKinsey Global Institute pegs the potential economic impact at $2.7 trillion to $6.2 trillion by 2025. ABI Research says the number of wirelessly connected devices on the market, now 10 billion, will triple by the end of the decade.

...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. The Internet of Everything doesn’t work unless “everything” works together.

There have been attempts to solve this interoperability challenge the old-fashioned way. Some vendors have tried to corner the market with proprietary solutions -- a crippling contradiction when the basic requirement of the Internet of Everything is interoperability across vendors and brands. Standards-setting initiatives have cropped up -- inefficient when, say, every company that makes a tiny light switch needs to implement a 500-page technical spec.

The answer here is clear: 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...