Lord of the things: why identity, visibility & intelligence are keys to unlocking lot value richie saville, CTO of Flexeye.



This white paper describes Flexeye's view of the Internet of Things (loT), how you as a stakeholder will benefit from the lot and why identity, visibility and intelligence are key.

Part I: The Amazing Potential Of The loT

In "The Am azing Potential Of The loT" we discuss the projected $1.9 trillion of global economic value the loT w ill add to industry, w e propose key factors for successful participation and examine the im pact this w ill have on our ability to communicate and to share information.

Part 2: How You Establish Control In "How You Establish Control" we look at the issue of trust in the loT and how to establish control of the real world and digital entities that are important to you.

Part 3: Controlling Entities With Flexeye

In "Controlling Entities With Flexeye" we briefly describe Flexeye's product EyeHub, and how it enables stakeholders maxim ise their quality, performance, compliance and security in a world of connected entities.

Whether you are a large or a small stakeholder, whatever your interest or geography, Flexeye can help you unlock the enormous potential of the Internet of Things.


We discuss the projected value the loT will add to industry, propose key factors for successful participation and examine the impact this will have on how we communicate.

The concept of the Internet of Things (loT) has been discussed since at least 1991, originally conceived as providing all objects in the world with a machine-readable identifier that could be used for tagging. Today the term is used to denote a world where real entities are identifiable and connected to digital networks in a variety of ways--enabling them to be treated as first-class digital objects and to participate in a new range of systems and services.

The Oxford English Dictionary added a definition for "Internet of Things" in September 2013: So the big change is to connect all the things that have not been put online before. That means everything from toys to towns, houses to skyscrapers, shoes to shoe factories, cars to cows and packing crates to pack animals. The way you put an everyday object on the loT is by first creating a digital entity to represent the real entity, which provides three important capabilities:

Identity--a way to define itself and capture its real world context in the digital world.

Visibility--a way to be digitally discovered and accessed by stakeholders, incl. other entities.

Intelligence--a way to become smart via digital processing, including the power to make decisions and take actions.

Next you need to connect the real entity to its digital entity counterpart using a mixture of devices:

Sensors--to provide analog-to-digital translation of data from the real world.

Actuators--to provide digital-to-analog translation of instructions to the real world.

Gateways--to connect the sensors and actuators to digital networks.

These devices provide the foundation and scaffolding for building the loT and are entities in their own right.

Humans vs. Machines

In his article "The Internet of Things and Humans", Tim O'Reilly describes "halfway houses" where loT "applications in waiting" use humans to play roles that will eventually be played by machines. But a human with a smart-phone is extremely capable in the role of sensor/actuator, adding two more useful entities to the loT and giving us a way to realise the loT right now.

Even more importantly, the combination of human + smartphone is a practical solution to two of the thorniest problems with autonomous devices: how to provide reliable power and connectivity. People keep their phone batteries charged and their connection plans topped up, with several billion device-carrying people ready to play the sensor/actuator role, either in perpetuity or at least until we get our machine act together.

Connect, Communicate & Share

Digital entities are concrete software objects hosted by a software service, which we refer to as a Hub.

The Hub provides storage, processing and connectivity for digital entities, running locally or remotely--in the cloud. This enables digital entities to define and execute behavioral rules for e.g. performance, quality, compliance and security, and to store data for e.g. attributes, relationships, events and logs.

There will not be one uber-Hub - instead there will be lots and lots of Hubs of various sizes and flavours, connected together using two common patterns:

Stacks--where one Hub looks like an edge device to another Hub.

Chains--where one Hub looks like a peer service to another Hub.

Smart Things Are Valuable Things

A connected digital entity enables stakeholders in the real entity to realise new value in the form of efficiencies, because a smart entity can perform tasks faster & cheaper than before, and opportunities, because a smart entity can interact with the world in new ways.

Tim O'Reilly's article "The Internet Of Things And Humans" also says that the loT...

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