Open source approaches crucial for the Internet of Things to flourish

“The Internet of Things”, the much vaunted phrase of recent years, may just be coming into its own- even if a definition for IoT is still illusive. First off, LogMeIn company Xively, which describes itself as the cloud platform for the Internet of Things (IoT), is doing its best to accelerate the availability of ultra-low power cloud-connected products, through an alliance with Linear Technology, following its launch in the middle of the year; and second, other developers are creating modules which have three important criteria: low cost, low power and adaptability. Perhaps most important though, is that the IoT is capturing the imagination. It may seem a strange place to start when looking at the IOT, but let’s take a look at Kickstarter, a web based funding tool for projects of many disciplines from design to technology, to arts and music. One company, Spark Core, shows that there is ample appetite for investment in projects which have the Internet of Things at their heart. Spark Core quickly found five and a half thousand backers in the summer, raising $560,000. The company was only looking for $10,000. And what does Spark Core do? It gives you the tools to connect everyday electronics to the internet over Wi-Fi. In other words, it is bringing together a tiny Wi-Fi development board, the electronics programming language Arduino, and connectivity, (in the form of ARM Cortex M3). It brings to the table the ability to allow wireless programming. Now that is what is needed for the IoT to really happen, particularly – as we observe in our latest report on M2M - if you combine it with an open source approach to connect any object to any other, which is what Xively is aspiring to do.