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Welcome to the The Phygital World

Standards for ‘Things’

That thing, next to the other thing, talking to this thing needs something to make it interoperate properly. That’s the goal of the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) which hopes to establish common ways that machines share information and move data.

IBM, Cisco, GE and AT&T have all teamed up to form the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC), an open membership group that’s been established with the task of breaking down technology silo barriers to drive better big data access and improved integration of the physical and digital worlds. The Phygital World. The IIC will work to develop a ‘common blueprint‘ that machines and devices from all manufacturers can use to share and move data. These standards won’t just be limited to internet protocols, but will also include metrics like storage capacity in IT systems, various power levels, and data traffic control.

Sensors are getting standards. Soon.

As more of these chips are getting installed on street lights, thermostats, engines, soda machines and even into our own body the IIC will focus on testing IoT applications, produce best practices and standards, influence global IoT standards for Internet and industrial systems and create a forum for sharing ideas. Explore new worlds so to speak. I think it’s nuts that we’re in an age where we are trying to figure out how the blood sensor talks to the fridge sensor which notices there is no more applesauce and auto-orders from the local grocery to have it delivered that afternoon. Almost there.

Initially, the new group will focus on the ‘industrial Internet’ applications in manufacturing, oil and gas exploration, healthcare and transportation. In those industries, vendors often don’t make it easy for hardware and software solutions to work together. The IIC is saying, ‘we all have to play with each other.’ That will become critically important when your imbedded sleep monitor/dream recorder notices your blood sugar levels rising indicating that you’re about to wake up, which kicks off a series of workflows that start the coffee machine, heat & distribute the hot water and display the day’s news and weather on the refrigerator’s LCD screen. Any minute now.

It will probably be a little while (years) before these standards can be created and approved, but when they are they’ll help developers of hardware and software to create solutions that are compatible with the Internet of Things. The end result will be the full integration of sensors, networks, computers, cloud systems, large enterprises, vehicles, businesses and hundreds of other entities that are ‘connected.’

With London cars getting stolen using electronic gadgets and connected devices as common as electricity by 2025, securing the Internet of Things should be one of the top priorities facing the consortium.

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More Stories By Peter Silva

Peter Silva covers security for F5’s Technical Marketing Team. After working in Professional Theatre for 10 years, Peter decided to change careers. Starting out with a small VAR selling Netopia routers and the Instant Internet box, he soon became one of the first six Internet Specialists for AT&T managing customers on the original ATT WorldNet network.

Now having his Telco background he moved to Verio to focus on access, IP security along with web hosting. After losing a deal to Exodus Communications (now Savvis) for technical reasons, the customer still wanted Peter as their local SE contact so Exodus made him an offer he couldn’t refuse. As only the third person hired in the Midwest, he helped Exodus grow from an executive suite to two enormous datacenters in the Chicago land area working with such customers as Ticketmaster, Rolling Stone, uBid, Orbitz, Best Buy and others.

Bringing the slightly theatrical and fairly technical together, he covers training, writing, speaking, along with overall product evangelism for F5’s security line. He's also produced over 200 F5 videos and recorded over 50 audio whitepapers. Prior to joining F5, he was the Business Development Manager with Pacific Wireless Communications. He’s also been in such plays as The Glass Menagerie, All’s Well That Ends Well, Cinderella and others. He earned his B.S. from Marquette University, and is a certified instructor in the Wisconsin System of Vocational, Technical & Adult Education.

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