Open Source Challenges A Proprietary Internet Of Things

Patrick Thibodeau | Computerworld | March 4, 2014

Linux Foundation believes it has the code for unlocking Internet of Things and bringing success

The only limit to the Internet of Things isn't imagination or technology. It's the vendors. Will your Whirlpool, Maytag or GE washer be able to communicate with your Samsung TV or Apple iPhone, Sears' oven or any other device?

Without interoperability, consumer devices, electronic appliances and sensor-equipped wearables won't recognize each other and communicate. It will make scenarios, such as this one, difficult:

You walk in the door of your house from a five-mile run and biometric sensors in your clothing automatically connect to the home network. Your workout data and health information is uploaded and analyzed by a cloud-based app that may also add this data to your electronic medical records. Meanwhile, this information is also used to automatically adjust room temperature to a more comfortable-post workout setting. A stereo system suggests music to match your relaxed mood. You settle in.


There is no consumer electronics vendor large enough to force the interoperability that can do all the things in that scenario. But there are vendors large enough to frustrate the path to it by building an Internet of Things mostly around their products.