Altabel Group's Blog

Internet of Things and competition of IT giants: IBM, Google, Apple and others.

Posted on: October 30, 2014

It is expected that within the next 5-7 years there will be billions of devices connected to the Internet of Things (IoT). However, on the way to this bright future, there are certain practical barriers.

The traditional model of the Internet of Things requires a centralized system for data processing, which handles all the data from connected devices. Nevertheless, this approach is seriously flawed in terms of cost of lifecycle and business model in general. For example, a company that produces “smart TVs” should support a centralized processing infrastructure and data management of the device for more than 20 years. While it earns revenues only once, when selling this device. This imposes restrictions on the Internet of Things. So far it is available only in the premium devices or those that are rarely used.

Nowadays, most of the IT companies are competing in invention IoT platforms and systems.

IBM: Adept

IBM’s solution is to use the web’s most innovative p2p technologies to create distributed cloud environment which means that all the devices will be integrated together. Thus, every device will be self-sufficient for managing and will use distributed public infrastructure to communicate with other devices. In this way, producing company won’t have recurring costs in maintenance. Such a system will be stable for the lifetime of the devices, and it will be equal to its clouds. The network will be fully autonomous, while the device remains in it, without requiring the cost from producer. However, centralized control becomes almost impossible with all the potential billions of devices on the network.

Their system Adept will rely on three different technologies to resolve a number of issues related to IoT development and commercialization: Block chain, famous from the crypto currency bitcoin, will allow IoT devices to communicate and interact with one another, BitTorrent (provides a stable and capable data distribution system ) and Telehash (private messaging protocol with end-to-end encryption).

Apple: Homekit

Apple is not idle in the IoT field. They introduced a new ‘smart home’ platform – Homekit this summer (2014).

Homekit is a framework and network protocol for controlling devices in the home. It promises a seamless user interface for organizing and controlling connected devices, all part of iOS 8. As part of this announcement there is also a new microcontroller SoC (system on a chip), containing a low-power WiFi, ZigBee and Bluetooth. It combines what had been separate components into a fully integrated unit. As with many other Apple products you will need a certificate, in this case Apple’s MFi certification (Made for iPod, Made for iPhone, Made for iPad).

Google: Nest

In January 2014, Google showed its commitment to the emerging Internet of Things by purchasing Nest for $3.2 billion. Nest’s main product is a learning thermostat connected to the internet that uses sensors, regional data, and learning algorithms to preemptively change the temperature of your house automatically. Thus, Google gains a direct entry point into the home to collect data, learn, and possibly advertise to end users in the future. Google’s purchase of Nest was considered an important indicator that the Internet of Things is poised to explode.

Microsoft: Windows 8.1 for IoT

Microsoft does not want to be left behind and has its own plan to bring Windows Developers to the Internet of Things with its new version of Windows 8.1 – operating system tailored for the Internet of Things. This version of Windows is designed to use in microcomputers, wearable electronics, and possibly, toys and household gadgets. At this point the preliminary version is only available to developers. Windows 8.1 distribution for the Internet of things weighs only 174 MB. For comparison, the size distribution of the full version of Windows 8.1 is around 3 GB. Slim enough to work on a single-core processor Intel Quark with a clock frequency of just 400 MHz. But the boot time is poor – 2 minutes instead of the traditional 3-30 seconds.

Intel: Galileo

The first platform that is compatible with Windows 8.1 for the Internet of Things is Intel’s Galileo. It is built around a processor, Intel Quark has 256 MB of RAM, a slot for cards format SD, two ports USB, PCI Express interface and a network adapter Ethernet 10/100 Mbit / s, and a pocket friendly price of just $ 50.

Samsung: Smartthings, Smart Home

Samsung, Intel and Dell announced in July 2014 that they are combining forces to create a new wireless standard for the Internet of Things, connecting sensors, appliances and gadgets to the Internet in the home, business and automobile. The Open Internet Consortium will include hardware component builders Broadcom and Amtel as well as embedded software provider Wind River.

Also it would be unfair not to mention the fact that Samsung has bought an internet of things (IoT) company called Smartthings (the startup that makes smart-home controllers) for about $200 million. Samsung is planning to use it to bolster its smart home plans. Smartthings will run as an independent entity within Samsung, and will continue to support its existing customer base. This system provides a smartphone app that users can employ to control features and functions around the house.

Smart Home platform will provide users with three main services: Device Control, Home View, and Smart Customer Service. Device Control will allow users to access customized settings for all of their devices on their smartphone or on their Smart TV. Home View allows users to take advantage of the cameras built into many of Samsung’s connected appliances to take a look at what’s going on at home. Smart Customer Service will notify users whenever it’s time to service an appliance, and also provide assistance in after-sales servicing.

Other companies such as Vodafone, Cisco, MediaTek, etc are also a part of this great revolution in IT environment, and most of them have very prospective projects.


IoT Top10 Companies

Nevertheless, one should accept that the Internet of Things requires some technical and educational level from the society, and while in some countries this seems to be difficult to put it into practice, the Scandinavian region, more specifically – Sweden, invests in such projects at the national level. The vision of its industry is to increase competitiveness and to use innovation effectively in such social spheres as healthcare, welfare and sport. Business life is focused on getting benefits by implementation of IoT technology as well.

The connected world is too big to belong to somebody exclusively. So will Apple, Windows, IBM, Oracle, Google and others be able to all work together in this IoT universe? Or will the grand idea of a seamlessly connected Internet of Things environment slip away?

Will be thankful to hear your opinion on this subject. Share your thoughts here in comments or send me a message.

11d78a3 Svetlana Pozdnyakova 
Skype ID: Svetlana.pozdnyakova
Business Development Manager (LI page)
Altabel Group – Professional Software Development

6 Responses to "Internet of Things and competition of IT giants: IBM, Google, Apple and others."

Will not work. Practicality and lack of education to the consumer. Start asking and showing the consumer of the time it take to configures these device and how many devices and what happens when one goes faulty. The constant maintenance will be up to the consumer.

Cool stuff. Now I know exactly where the big shots are in terms of their road map for IOT. Thanks.

The key factor of all this new era is actually to build over our current infrastructure, but changing the status quo at the same time, the problem is try to use the same tools for the IoT movement, not even the networks would be the same anymore, IoT devices must be autoconfigurable, free of maintenance, even “social”, new jobs coming with this changes, the big ones (GE, APPLE) must focus on developing the tools. The IoT era is for the independent developers… I will make it work!

thanks for sharing information. surely it will make impact and change the consumer pattern.
With change in current Regime in India ,Prime Minister Modi has announced 100 smart cities in country .
Hopefully India will invest in national level for such projects to make life easier in all spheres health & education specially .

Hi Svetlana, The real IoT push is coming from the vested device manufacturers. They will first make their dumb devices smart (cfr Samsung CEO msg @ CES). Then they allow 3rd party apps to work with those devices via APIs. What we miss for the moment are cloud app platforms that interconnect with device vendors offering APIs and offering a business model for cloud app developers. IFTTT is such an interconnecting cloud app platform (apps called recipies). But it still misses a business model whereby cloud app developers can make money selling their eg home cloud apps to consumers or offering tailor made home cloud app configurations to consumers and businesses. Since most of the consumers aren’t capable of even making an IFTTT recipe, there will be a flourishing market for cloud based SW home domitics integrators that will implement and support consumers when interconnecting their devices into scenarios. Or will a great mind invent the Facebook of Things? A kind of THingsbook allowing consumers to easily interconnect with their friends and their things without being a programmer? Perhaps something for you to develop?😉 Kind regards, Chris Lefrere

The Internet of Things is heading for a brick wall so fast, you cannot even imagine how much damage will be done to manufacturers reputations – if – IF – security and privacy concerns are not understood and dealt with prior to launching new “consumer’ products – or any hardware that has a IoT sensor. You can’t even talk around a Samsung Smart TV right now, as they’ve admitted “someone” is easily capable of listening to you. The IoT is about devices, and people, and people need to control their devices. But do you think people want 800 different Items in their house communicating whatever it is that some local or foreign manufacturer decided to have communicate for me? The idea that I care that my shower turns on to heat up the water just as I have my smart sensor coffee cup and GPS know and am headed into the bathroom is as ludicrous as a sensor opening my garage door when my car rounds the corner. I may not want people to see all the junk in my garage that day, and I’m only home for 5 mins. My point is this. Any IoT device needs to work on any IoT network, but be controlled by the person. Not the manufacturer, and not with 2500 apps on my phone. And, it needs a central clearing house by a trusted authority which protects my privacy. As a consumer, I am not giving that right up to anyone that will not give me 100% complete control of everything these sensors want from me. Until that happens, I’ll take my analog dog to the park and leave my smart shoes at home. And, I’ll gladly participate in building a simple solution that makes as much sense for my censored devices, as well as those without a single sensor in it. That makes sense!

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