上网时间: 2013年08月19日? 作者:Rick Merritt? 我来评论 【字号: ? ?小】

关键字:物联网? IoT? 物联网标准?

There is no Internet of Things. There's a lot of hype and PowerPoint about the Internet of Things, but it does not exist -- yet.

Today a couple dozen Networks (plural) of Things are duking it out in as many market sectors. The typical node on one net doesn't know how to talk to nodes on another net unless it was made by the same company and installed by the same person.

You can view this Web page on your iPhone, Android tablet, Windows PC, Macbook, or Linux workstation because the Internet has a common set of standards for creating, transporting, and rendering content such as IP, HTTP, and HTML. These common standards do not exist in the Internet of Things today. Instead there are many fairly complete and incompatible IoT software stacks, from ANT to Zigbee and Z-Wave.

I have talked to a half dozen IoT experts in the past week, and they are all saying the same thing as Levent Gurgen, a researcher at CEA-Leti involved in two big IoT projects with backing from the European Union:

IoT covers a large number of domains -- smart buildings, home automation, smart cities, and industrial automation systems -- and there are many protocols in each of these environments. There is not one common way of communicating among them. This creates vertical silos of application systems that do not interoperate. This is the main roadblock in IoT today.

His colleagues over in the US. see this problem, too. To address it, they are putting together a consortium, calling it the Industrial Internet, a term favored by GE. Unfortunately they see the framework architecture they intend to develop as a competitive advantage for US companies. So much for Levent Gurgen and his partners in Europe and Japan.

I suppose it's only fair. I am told China has its own national IoT initiative based in Wuxi. I'd love to get details on it.

Here in Silicon Valley, I talked with Kris Pister, a Berkeley IoT researcher and founder of Dust Networks, one of the early IoT startups. He agreed with the assessment of Levent in Europe. "The [IoT] field is held back by lousy standards and lousy implementations," Pister told me.

The good news is the industry is close to finishing what Pister hopes is a winning standard based on some of the same underpinnings used in the Internet.

Pister backs 6LoWPAN. At its lowest levels it is based on the IEEE 802.15.4 media access controller. At its highest level is the IETF's Constrained Application Protocol. In between, work is about to start on something called 6TSCH (a.k.a. time-synchronized channel hopping for IPv6), one last layer needed to finish the architecture.

Separately, Pister and colleagues have been working on OpenWSN, an open-source software stack that implements the 6LoWPAN approach for wireless sensor networks. "We're approaching the point of having the first complete working stack, but we still don't have security -- something universities are less interested in," says Pister.

Cisco and others are big backers of 6LowPAN. But there's no universal agreement this will be the glue for IoT. IBM, for example, promotes Message Queuing Telemetry Transport (MQTT), which uses an event subscription model that differs from the approach 6TSCH is taking.

Even if the 6LoWAN folks get consensus, no doubt backers of the other couple dozen IoT approaches out there will contend they are better for some reason, even if it is only because they have been around longer. Whether or not anyone agrees, the reality is they may need to work with the networks they have installed.

So we still need some new glue to unite the superset of IoTs out there, a sort of IoT super glue. And that's the big problem behind this exciting concept of the Internet of Things.

The early focus on protocols was not such a good thing, as it turned out, says Sokwoo Rhee. As founder of Millennial Networks, another one of the early IoT startups, he should know. His company created a whiz-bang, proprietary mesh networking technology for IoT.

A better approach would have been to "work on finding the right app rather than inventing a dozen different protocols," he said in an interview with EE Times. "The protocols were defined before the apps, and that put us back a few years."

As a result, "from a marketing perspective people would say [IoT is] exploding, but from my perspective of watching it since the early days, I and other entrepreneurs like me would say its growing slower than expected, but it's growing."

Rhee has an opportunity for a do-over. He is now one of two presidential fellows working with the emerging Industrial Internet consortium that aims to define the IoT superglue.

The consortium faces big hurdles. There's a lot of politics in setting industry standards, says Pister, who has spent seven years working on standards for 6LoWPAN. The group's membership holds challenges, too, says Michael Anderson a co-founder of the PTR Group, a consulting firm. It includes AT&T, Cisco, GE, IBM, and Intel.

"Such a marriage will burn lots of hours and produce little substance," Anderson told us.

"Their perspectives are too divergent, and there doesn't appear to be representation from the other 98 percent of the [IoT] marketplace. Where are the SCADA folks? Manufacturing? The auto industry?" he asks.

"I hope they'll be able to get something going, but I wouldn't hold my breath."

? 一个高智能化的物联网枢纽--物联网网关
? 让智能照明与物联网擦出绚丽的火花
? 物联网应用中各种无线连接技术对比

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