Friday, September 24, 2010

Reading: The Internet of Things

"The Internet of Things" by Neil Gershenfeld, Raffi Krikorian and Danny Cohen, Scientific American October 2004, pages 76-82.

"The principles that gave rise to the internet are now leading to a new kind of network of everyday devices, an Internet-0"

"Giving everyday objects the ability to connect to a data network would have a range of benefits: making it easier for homeowners to configure their lights and switches, reducing the cost and complexity of building construction, assisting with home health care. Many alternative standards currently compete to do just that— a situation reminiscent of the early days of the Internet, when computers and networks came in multiple incompatible types."

"To eliminate this technological Tower of Babel, the data protocol that is at the heart of the Internet can be adopted to represent information in whatever form it takes: pulsed electrically, flashed optically, clicked acoustically, broadcast electromagnetically or printed mechanically."

"Using this “Internet-0” encoding, the original idea of linking computer networks into a seamless whole—the “Inter” in “Internet”—can be extended to networks of all types of devices, a concept known as interdevice internetworking."

This article details the network I first read about in the "Media House Project". Internet 0 is a simplified version of Internet 1 for connecting simple devices like light switches, thermostats, locks, security sensors. They don't have need for a speed network, with expensive electronics, they only require a basic network and that can be accomplished with cheap chips.

I really like this system but I think they overcomplicated things. A little background- Data over a network is sent in packets, each one has a header with information about where that bit of data is from and where is is suppose to go. In system described in the article, they used the same header that is used in Internet-1, It's great for sending large packets to billions of computers but on a simple network, it's overkill. I propose using the same ideas of the Internet-1 header but scaled down.

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