Theory of, and the Internet of EVERYTHING!

Physics has a pursuit of the Theory of Everything. It’s goal is to provide a single framework that connects the physical universe. It gets into some pretty heavy stuff that we all have heard of like Einstein’s General Relativity and the hot topic of Quantum Mechanics.

The idea that there is a single mathematical equation to explain the universe brings me back to meaning of the universe defined in Hitchhikers guide to the galaxy. 42 may be the answer but the answer is beyond most of us to understand. For Physics one such answer being researched is String Theory. It’s would be a single framework to understand everything. For our purposes, lets see if there is a single framework to understand the Internet of Everything.

It’s been over 5 years since I first did presentations on the Internet of Things. At that point we really didn’t know what Everything was so we just called it Things. The concept, is that there is data everywhere that can serve and enhance our lives. And that if we can access this data, then it will, as the GE slogan went, “Bring good things to life”

The Internet of Everything (“IOE”) has a few requirements to work. It needs every device that has data to share to have a communications medium. It needs a structured communication language or protocol so that it can be share and be understood. It also needs a way for the data to be collected, managed & viewed.

A shared communication medium has been a challenge. Many devices we want data from do not have the common WiFi or Ethernet connections. But with Bluetooth and other lower cost mediums available, this is changing. Gateways that connect legacy mediums have also become more readily available.

The Internet has a common communications language in TCP/IP that works well. Many devices are using IP as a common means of transmitting their data.

The data may be wildly different between devices (i.e. surveillance video versus temperature readings). The different types of data and the enormous amount of data become two huge obstacles. Video is usually in large single files with timestamps to reference. Temperature is a constantly changing, small pieces of individual data.

The value of connecting these “things” and providing historical and real time data has great social and commercial value. Think about when the news started giving us traffic reports. At first this came from Police scanners and helicopters flying overhead. Traffic Cameras and speed sensors in the road then helped us more and providing this information to us real time on our personal mobile devices helped even more. The benefit of less aggravation in traffic and getting to our destinations on time are the result of this addition to the Internet of Everything.

As we add more and more to the Internet of Everything, we get closer to a unifying framework that provides value and immense benefits to everyone. It may not be a Final Theory of Everything but it is something that the majority of us can understand, use and receive daily value to our individual lives.

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