I met today with Ali Kashani and Janice (pronounced “Janeece”) Cheam of Energy Aware in their offices in Chinatown, East Vancouver. Ali is a UBC Vancouver Engineering Ph.D, and Janice is a Sauder “BComm” graduate. Together, they are the brains behind Energy Aware’s novel approach to the “hairball” of the Internet of Things. I began our meeting as a skeptic, and came away impressed with their approach, their market savvy, their chemistry as a team, and the big name partners they have already attracted.
It has dawned on me that an entirely new Mega Multidimensional War of Titans is developing, entirely separate and distinct from the mobile smartphone Multidimensional Mega War of Titans. In many ways this new industry war may be more strategic, larger and more valuable than the smart phone war. The emerging new battleground is the Mega Global War of the Internet of Everything. The global players in this newly developing war are well known names in high technology: ARM, Broadcom, Cisco Systems, Intel, and Qualcomm, not to mention a new class of players like The Zigbee Alliance, Honeywell and a host of others. A number of small Canadian companies are also in the thick of this.
Originally posted on Gigaom:
Poor ZigBee. As a wireless standard, it has long faced an identity crisis that pitted it…
Microsoft Missed Key Strategic Inflection Points. Much has been written this week about the announcement from Steve Ballmer that he will resign from Microsoft within a year. Microsoft shares bounced upward on the news, giving an indication of investor sentiment, which might have been expected to drive the stock down. Some bloggers have commented with praise on his 13 years as President of Microsoft. But no less than Walt Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal, who also writes for All Things D, quietly tweeted an endorsement of the blog post below by Lauren Goode at “All Things D.” Goode chronicles the major product and strategic events over Ballmer’s helmsmanship of Microsoft. Perhaps the most glaring blunder has to be also the most recent: Windows 8.
The post below caught my attention because of the current industry debate and competitive battle over deployment of much higher Gigabit Internet bandwidth via optical fiber to consumers, known as Fiber to the Home or FTTH, at prices much lower than they currently pay for even 50 Megabit Internet connectivity. Gigabit connectivity is already a reality in Hong Kong and South Korea, with Europe not far behind. The big cable carriers, Comcast and Time Warner, have actually argued publicly that consumers don’t want or need higher bandwidth. How they came to that conclusion is a mystery. Now Google has entered into direct competition with the cable carriers, deploying Gigabit FTTH in Kansas City and Austin, Texas to be followed by other locations, at prices a fraction of Comcast’s pricing for lower bandwidth.
This article from Gigaom serves to further underscore The Tower of Babbling Things….Competitors battling each other over control of The Internet of Things over the means, methods and, most importantly, the dozens of competing data communication protocols. Honeywell has now entered the battle, realizing the a number of small, entrepreneurial startups are eroding their market for traditional thermostats. Previous to this development, Intel and others had promoted the concept of home tabletop display consoles for energy efficiency management. The display console concept is now officially dead, as reported in the Gigaom post. Recently, Gigaom also showcased three competing home automation systems, all of which were “closed” proprietary systems.
The term “Internet of Things” is being loosely tossed around in the media. But what does it mean? It means simply that data communication like the Internet, but not necessarily Internet Protocol packets is emerging for all manner of “things” in the home: light switches, lighting devices, thermostats, door locks, window shades, kitchen appliances, washers & dryers, home audio and video equipment, even pet food dispensers. You get the idea. All of this communication occurs autonomously, without human intervention. The communication can be between and among these devices, so called machine to machine or M2M. The data communication can also terminate in a home compute server where the information can be made available to the homeowner to intervene remotely from their smart mobile phone or any other remote Internet connected device.