According to the recent article by Samantha Murphy Kelly at Mashable, it looks like another tech standard war is brewing on the horizon. This time, it’s all about IoT (Internet of Things).
Ever since the acquisition of Nest Labs, a home automation company, by Google in a mind-blowing $3.2 billion deal, the IoT world has been on fire. Although home automation and IoT in general have been advancing steadily in the past, the sheer size of this deal put the IoT world on the map of the general consumer’s mind. And this emergence of new technology is obviously fueling the latest tech standard war. When the major players in the industry are serious enough to push for a standard, the technology in the spotlight is seen to have full potential, in the realm of billions of dollars in revenue.
So, how critical is a standard when it comes to IoT?
It can be the mother of all standards. IoT is sometimes called IoE, Internet of Everything, because many envision a world where everything is connected to the Internet, thus connected to everything else. To make this vision come true, all different types of electronic and mechanical devices from different manufacturers will need to be able to communicate with one another over the Internet, and it requires a “common language” per se.
And because of this enormous consequence of a truly connected world beyond the virtual realm of the Internet, establishing an IoT standard will probably be a tumultuous one. There’s so much at stake for all those tech companies, large and small, and they all have their great ideas about it. And unlike a Web standard such as HTML5 that focuses on browsers, this new tech standard has to encompass, well, everything.
My guess is that while those major tech companies duke it out over a standard, companies will arise to focus on this pain point and offer ingenious services that easily connect various devices through their “intermediary connection environments”. You can think of it as “IoT translators” that help devices speaking different “languages” to communicate with one another.
To all of you startup warriors, what would these be like? IoT is a new frontier to be conquered and it is wide open. Go take it!