A closer look at Internet of things, the way Intel sees it unfolding

Discussions around Internet of Things have been gaining momentum over the past couple of years. And given the rise in prominence of mobility, we spoke to Satish Jadhav, ‎Director – IoT, Embedded Sales Group – South Asia at Intel Technology. Here’s what we learned after our interaction with him.

Discussions around Internet of Things have been gaining momentum over the past couple of years. And given the rise in prominence of mobility, we spoke to Satish Jadhav, ‎Director – IoT, Embedded Sales Group – South Asia at Intel Technology. Here’s what we learned after our interaction with him.

As a term, Internet of Things has been around for well over a decade. Yet it’s taken a while to take off. What, in your opinion, could this be attributed to?

According to a recent McKinsey report, hyper growth for the Internet of Things (IoT) segment is expected. The report adds that sensors, actuators, and other means of connecting things in the physical world to networks are proliferating at astounding rates.

Approximately how many devices are connected online?

There are more than 12 billion devices around the world, including computers and smartphones that are connected to networks. This number is expected to increase significantly over the next decade, with estimates ranging from more than 50 billion devices to over a trillion!

How will this impact our lives?

Like the industrial revolution, IoT too has been evolving in phases. It’s said ultimately IoT will rival past all technological marvels, such as the printing press, the steam engine, and electricity.

IoT is the evolution of the internet itself. Web 2.0 led to Internet of Business and social media and then soon machines-to-machines connection paved way for internet of Things.

IoT was on top of the latest edition of Gartner’s Hype Cycle for emerging technologies, although it will take another decade for it to witness full growth. With IoT, a connected world will emerge that enables multiple devices to interact simultaneously and seamlessly with each other. It will create a stronger economy and create new efficient business models as technology continues to transform today’s enterprises into digital businesses.

With support of a visionary government, right regulation policies, the last mile connectivity, a strong ecosystem and an earnest public-private partnership the IoT ecosystem will gain higher acceleration and drive standardization.

Recently, hackers were able to successfully kill a Jeep Cherokee remotely. Similarly, there have been a spate of thefts involving Land Rovers that were made possible by reprogramming the keys. Are these the fall end of the Internet of Things?

No, not really. With IoT evolving security at different levels will evolve too. According to Intel Security predictions, while there has not yet been a surge in IoT and wearable attacks, by 2020 we may see install bases of these systems reach substantial enough penetration levels that they will attract more attackers.

Technology vendors and vertical solution providers will work to establish user safety guidance and industry best practices, as well as build security controls into device architectures where appropriate.

Security breach can happen at any level. Security is core to the success of IoT but it can’t be dealt in isolation.Thesolution lies in an integrated end to end embedded security at device, firm ware& application level including back end infrastructure.

According to Gartner, the number of IoT devices will grow to 26 billion units by 2020, a 30-fold increase from 0.9 billion in 2009. This clearly indicates that connected devices are set to explode. Hence it is of paramount importance that everyone who is deploying solutions with connected devices give maximum importance to security of not only devices but the data which is being collected too.

If sensors, and effectively technology, can be compromised, wouldn’t it affect us during critical operations? What are precautions that could be taken by users of such technology?

In mission critical application sectors like healthcare, security breach either at the hardware or software level can behighly detrimental. However as high end technologies get deployed, security becomes the underlying platform to run these technologies. An integrated security system at every level of touch point will make breaking in to sensors a very difficult task.

Essentially for IoT to be successful a technology company should be able to give a unified solution that is high on compute capabilities, has an integrated end to end built in security system and comes with a good service back up. The benefits of deploying connected devices ecosystem are game changing in nature compared to the risks involved. The ecosystem has to evolve around standardization and interoperability with integrated security at the heart of every solution.

How critical is the underlying platform and the operating system for an IoT solution?

In order to successfully adapt to the constraints of typical IoT devices, an operating system must be designed to suit all its aspects.The IoT is indeed very challenging in adapting the design of a suitable generic OS, which requires diverse heterogeneous hardware platforms and application scenarios, provision for an adaptive IP network stack, and should offer a standard developer-friendly API. It is important to have a standard based scalable technology platform which can work with multiple OS in a seamless manner in order to achieve scale for IoT based solutions while encouraging innovation with multiple different use cases.

How far has the IoT space evolved since the days of Zigbee? What were the limitations back then?

Zigbee was one of the common protocol. With Wi-fi and Bluetooth there are many options to Zigbee which was earlier known as a low-cost, low-power, and wireless sensors network technology for wireless control and monitoring applications. ZigBee design enables it to carry small amounts of data over a mid-range distance and consume very little power, however interoperability has been a key issue.

As IoT market attains a maturity level the hype surrounding it becomes more intense. Different people advocated different radio technologies that would be useful forIoT. Some recommend Wi-Fi and Bluetoothwhile other companies pushed IEEE802.15.4 that uses ZigBee radioplatform. Different environments require different protocols and therefore IoTtoday can benefit from all these technologies.

Does India have an active community around IoT? Could you share some details?

India is a huge market place with a growing need for IoT consumption at all levels – consumer, enterprise and developer communities. We have a strong base of system integrators (SI), design houses, product and solution companies and a robust talent base. The SI investments, start-up innovations, and hackathons are all growing the community and providing them with an opportunity to work on real solutions across a variety of verticals like transport, safety and surveillance, healthcare, education, e-governance & many more.

How does Intel get involved in the IoT community?

Large technology companies like Intel are deeply involved in growing the IoT ecosystem through various initiatives and efforts around standardization and encouraging innovation with velocity. The Intel Edison development platform is designed to lower the barriers to entry for a range of inventors, entrepreneurs, and consumer product designers to rapidly prototype and produce “Internet of Things” (IoT) and wearable computing products. A large number of developers have used this platform to come up with some very innovative solutions.Intelhas hosted more than 20 IoT road shows for developer communities in cities across the US, Europe, South American and Asia, providing the participants a complete IoT developer and starter kit.

This year the IoT road show held in the city of Pune in India has been a great success with a total of 120 plus participations. The developers came together at this 24 hour hackathon to build IoT enabled solutions. 44 IoT solutions were created using the Intel® IoT Developer Kit which includes an Intel® Edison Development Board, an Arduino-compatible development board based on Intel® Architecture.

The winning project which won the first prize was Gesture Based Home Automation, a solution that allows you to control and execute various household activities using gestures. Some of the other winning projects included: Smart City Plugin - a solution to digitally monitor the city infrastructure using the cloud, DoorMate – a smart door that can send you alerts and also allow you to trigger action and Brain Inside – a smart helmet to protect motorists as well as a version developed around same concept for industrial usage.

There is great amount of innovation happening using IOT as concept across start-ups, product companies, application developers as well as system integrators which shall continue to drive huge efficiencies while creating better customer experiences in a safe & secure environment.

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