Most current Internet of Things discussions are misguided.

If you haven’t heard of the Internet of Things (IoT) yet, count yourself lucky.  I can still clearly remember the first time that I heard someone bring it up in as a question at a conference – 5 years ago now.  It was a growing concept that now often takes on fever pitch when people talk about how it is going to change the world and all of our lives.

In a nutshell, the IoT is the interconnectedness of everything.  Your watch talks to your thermostat which talks to your lights which talks to the neighbor’s lights which know the wireless networks available and on and on and on.  Everything.  Is.  Connected.  It’s one of those ideas that as you listen to it and think about what it could mean you start to jump around and dance with the energy that the concept imbues you with.  It’s amazing!

Except it really isn’t.  The I0T is really an on-going revolution and not an actual event – much like the Industrial Revolution or Digital Revolution.

Let’s start with what is wrong with IoT.  First is the name.  The internet is a communication platform that allows for data to be sent and received.  Interconnected devices that can communicate with other things around is more than just data transference, it’s intelligence.  Ultimately all of this interconnectivity should be more than what the internet is now.  Things is also woefully unassuming.  It should really be Everythings.  From bottles to paper to tools to glasses to tables and chairs – Everything is going to be part of the future network.  In reality the Internet of Things should be the Intelligent Connectedness of Everything (ICE) (And I just made that up without trying to make an acronym that is a word…I apologize now).

And that’s why the on-going discussions of the Internet of Things are so pointless – they start with a faulty premise that today’s networks are what we are talking about.  While also not really imagining the full scope that this could become.  At the same time it’s both too big and too small of a picture being presented.  It’s time to bring the conversation back to basics of functionality of devices and services in new and unique ways.  Grouping them into an IoT conversation just skews perceptions.

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