Over the last year, my writing and speaking has focused on a fairly straight forward thesis:

  1. Cheap computation/networking will make nearly any device ‘smart’
  2. There will be lots of these things
  3. Using ‘an app’ to control each one (what we currently do) just won’t scale
  4. Smart phones will be joined by smart TVs, smart glasses, and smart tabletops
  5. All the ‘smart devices’ will want to play with all the ‘smart displays’
  6. We need to make this happen through open source solutions

I’ve given this talk to thousands of people and it’s so gratifying to get such enthusiastic endorsement. But whenever it comes down to concrete next steps someone almost always says “you really need to sketch out how a company can actually make money doing this”. The intent is good; they are clearly trying to be supportive, but this is exactly the wrong approach.

The world is littered with ‘service discovery’ systems that have come and gone over the years. For the most part, they were all proprietary systems. We’re talking about building a network of nearly everything on the frigg’n planet. Who in their right mind wants to hand off that kind of power to a single company? It is antithetical to the entire history of the internet.

And that, at its core, is what is so frustrating: people have forgotten how the internet was made. It wasn’t built by a company trying to get rich quick. It fact, it wasn’t built with any business goal in mind at all. It was built to create a highway of connectedness that morphed and grew over time into something that allows all sorts of companies to make money. Your city’s roads and streets don’t make money but they sure make it easier for FedEx to do so.

Our brains have collectively gone startup-crazy, seeing the world through stock option colored glasses, assuming that if there is no money, there is clearly no value. This is madness. I’m so desperately worried that the internet will turn out to be a happy accident. This is going to sound a bit trite but the “internet of things” has the word ‘internet’ in it! When are we going to start building it with that word in mind? There are several excellent internet bill of rights already floating around, focusing on the rights we, as citizens of the world, have in relation to this technology. However, we also need need one from the devices’ point of view. Any smart device has the right:

  1. To have access to the internet
  2. To be discoverable by anyone or anything nearby (without necessarily being on their subnet)
  3. To be able to broadcast information on what it does
  4. To offer up a web page to do whatever the hell it wants to do
  5. To offer up a RESTful interface of actions that it is capable of doing
  6. To optionally require a secure connection/login

Is this a company? Not at all. It’s not even a product. I’m sure others will point out what it’s obviously missing. But let’s start simple and work our way up: build an open and discoverable system that looks, and actually is, nearly identical to the internet that brought us here.

Much like TCP, this bill of rights doesn’t have to be tied down to a particular transport. My guess is that wifi direct is going to very helpful but it should just as equally work over ethernet and Bluetooth. We just need to agree as a group that any standard must have these core open principles for the internet of things to take off. I’m doing what I can to push this meme along but just like the internet, this isn’t something a single person can do. We all have to appreciate how we need a deep, open solution to solve this problem. If we don’t understand, demand even, that hardware devices need to be just as discoverable an open as web servers are today, we’ll never see the internet of things come to pass.

However, it’s clear that making that first step is the hard part. How do we get started? Rome wasn’t built in a day. I’m exploring how to build this over Wifi Direct using Arduino. I’d love to hear what else others are working on. Please post in the comments other folks that are working on this. It takes a village…

660 thoughts on “Was the Internet just an accident?

  1. Wholeheartedly agree, but it extends well beyond the internet of things. I can think of shared public school infrastructure and healthcare as two segments of the economy which need their own public substrate, but where no company dares to or is interested enough to build one.

    Foundations and non-profits can and do play an important role, but these things are fundamentally hard because of politics and industry in-fighting. Governments are good, but they are so cash-strapped and election-driven as to render them completely paralyzed.

    I’ve been on the internet of things side as a product manager of a wireless networking stack for embedded devices, and I am now in the educational technology space doing pretty much the same thing. The obstacles for common standards are enormous, and the established players are well-cemented in their respective markets.

    It continues to be an uphill battle.

  2. While at first it seems like a good idea, the Internet of thing needs to be an intranet of things. There are significant privacy issues if information from a persons devices are available to everybody. Power usage can indicate whether a property is occupied. An empty fridge probably indicates a long absence, heavy stocking and consumption could indicate the presence of guests etc.
    Protecting privacy, and securing access to data and control is a problem that requires solving, and more important that enabling the networking of smart devices.

    • I completely agree, which is why one of my ‘rights’ was security. But there is a balance. In a rush to be secure, many products make this nearly impossible to use. I realize this is a tradeoff, I just want to make sure we *design* security and not just slap it on. You’re not saying this of course, I’m just pointing out that 99% of the time, security is very poorly done.

      • The combination of 4g and RFID tags could simply bypass any customer control on collection and use of data. iven the propensity of companies and governments to collect all the data that they can get hold of, the risk is that the Internet of things becomes a reality that the private individual has no control over.
        Given the way that companies and governments are currently behaving, I think there is a going to be a major political battle to prevent a complete erosion of individual privacy.
        The problem is not in building an Internet of things, but in preventing the abuse of technology as a means of implementing the big brother state.

        • The funny thing about what you’re saying is both that its technically plausible & likely, and that it’s already happened and here.

          Your purchasing, traveling, surfing, sleeping, eating and thinking behavior are already highly documented and accessible & manipulatable by those who might control you “big brother” style.

          I say it’s “funny” because while the idea of a future “big brother” always sounds obviously distasteful, the current “big brother” often just gets overlooked as inconsequential and not too bad.

  3. Thank you, Scott, for the interesting perspective. Especially valuable are your thesis summary, and your ambient device bill of rights. Setting aside for the moment the huge questions raised by other commenters about security and privacy, what do you think about a Firefox, or at worst an Android, for the IoT? Sure, FF is not that great a browser, but it has allowed the concept of what a browser is and can be to be evolved by a global community of designers and tinkerers. A few years of that type of collaboration could do a lot to help us understand how to build a global system of interconnectivity.

  4. Sorry for the late reply. I think that right now we need to experiement and find patterns of interactions that work. I really don’t mind if it is Android or FF, as long as we make progress and find things that work. I feel that both platforms are a good start.

    However, it’s not the platform as much as the middleware that is critical. How would either one find smart devices? That to me, is the driving question, and what I spend most of my talks exploring.

    • Scott, I’m so very curious about your perspective on Apple’s AirPlay as it may or may no relate to the future of the Internet of things as you see it? Clearly it is not an open standard, but I can’t help but observe it falls exactly inline with ‘Discover – Use – Forget’. For a new emerging world of wireless A/V connectivity it operates very seamlessly. As an example, a user does not have to understand the difference between how AirPlay uses Bluetooth when they sit in their car vs. Wi-Fi when they are in their home. Furthermore, AirPlay is now generally ‘standard’ across all apps on iOS, so the app itself is not how the user engages the Internet of things, such as compatible speakers or displays. It’s the AirPlay feature that permits a discover, use, forget approach within any particular app a user engages and wishes to ‘amplify’ wether audio or video or both.

      Would you care to share any thoughts AirPlay?

      • Airplay is a very clever technology, there is a lot to like about it. As you point out, working across wifi, ethernet and bluetooth is pretty compelling.

        But as you point out, it’s also dedicated not only to Apple devices, but also primarily to audio/video. That is a huge limitation of we desire to have a true internet of many things that we want to work with. So I’m not against Airplay as an implementation, just about it’s viability as a platform.

        There is one more nit I have, we had an Airplay device at work but it could only connect to our public wifi and i was usually connected to our private one. I kept expecting my airplay device, which I was right in front of, to just show up and it never did. This is an example of how wifi isn’t always the best way forward. It’s one reason why I’m so in favor of wifi direct (or bluetooth 4) as both of these technologies let you discover them independent of the network you are currently connected to.

  5. … [Trackback]

    […] There you will find 33321 more Infos: jenson.org/was-the-internet-just-an-accident/ […]

  6. Google

    Every the moment in a though we decide on blogs that we study. Listed beneath would be the most up-to-date web pages that we pick out.

  7. music lessons hollywood

    […]Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine a few unrelated information, nevertheless genuinely worth taking a look, whoa did one master about Mid East has got extra problerms also […]

  8. visit

    […]although websites we backlink to below are considerably not associated to ours, we feel they are truly really worth a go through, so possess a look[…]

  9. look at this web-site

    […]Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine a couple of unrelated information, nevertheless seriously worth taking a appear, whoa did one particular study about Mid East has got much more problerms as well […]

  10. m88

    […]although internet sites we backlink to beneath are considerably not connected to ours, we feel they’re really worth a go by, so possess a look[…]

  11. hog trapping gate

    […]Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine several unrelated information, nonetheless genuinely worth taking a search, whoa did one master about Mid East has got a lot more problerms also […]

  12. ask and it is given

    […]we like to honor quite a few other online sites around the net, even when they aren’t linked to us, by linking to them. Underneath are some webpages worth checking out[…]

  13. sick

    […]very few websites that transpire to be detailed beneath, from our point of view are undoubtedly effectively worth checking out[…]

  14. coffee and

    […]Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine several unrelated information, nevertheless truly really worth taking a look, whoa did a single learn about Mid East has got a lot more problerms as well […]

  15. check

    […]very couple of web sites that come about to be comprehensive beneath, from our point of view are undoubtedly nicely worth checking out[…]

  16. coffee classics

    […]Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine a couple of unrelated data, nonetheless seriously worth taking a search, whoa did 1 master about Mid East has got more problerms as well […]

  17. gps tracking systems

    […]Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine some unrelated information, nonetheless seriously really worth taking a appear, whoa did one particular understand about Mid East has got extra problerms too […]

  18. PTC earning

    […]Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine a few unrelated data, nevertheless actually really worth taking a search, whoa did 1 discover about Mid East has got far more problerms too […]

  19. Link listings

    […]Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine a couple of unrelated data, nonetheless really worth taking a look, whoa did one particular study about Mid East has got extra problerms too […]

  20. dental implant

    […]although web sites we backlink to below are considerably not associated to ours, we feel they are in fact really worth a go through, so have a look[…]

  21. best lawyers

    […]we like to honor lots of other net websites around the internet, even when they aren’t linked to us, by linking to them. Below are some webpages really worth checking out[…]

  22. russischer dj

    […]although internet websites we backlink to below are considerably not related to ours, we feel they may be in fact worth a go by, so possess a look[…]

  23. pdr training

    […]we prefer to honor a lot of other online sites on the net, even when they aren’t linked to us, by linking to them. Underneath are some webpages really worth checking out[…]

  24. pdr training

    […]that is the finish of this article. Right here you’ll come across some web sites that we assume you’ll appreciate, just click the links over[…]

  25. Vape Mods

    […]although internet websites we backlink to beneath are considerably not associated to ours, we really feel they may be actually worth a go by way of, so have a look[…]

  26. selling

    […]just beneath, are various completely not related web-sites to ours, nevertheless, they’re surely really worth going over[…]

  27. tannlege

    […]always a massive fan of linking to bloggers that I really like but really don’t get a good deal of link really like from[…]

  28. SQL Server 2014

    […]we prefer to honor many other world wide web web sites around the web, even though they aren’t linked to us, by linking to them. Below are some webpages really worth checking out[…]

  29. web space

    […]please take a look at the web pages we adhere to, including this one particular, as it represents our picks through the web[…]

  30. how

    […]just beneath, are a lot of entirely not connected websites to ours, nonetheless, they are surely worth going over[…]

  31. domain registration

    […]Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine some unrelated information, nonetheless really really worth taking a appear, whoa did one discover about Mid East has got far more problerms also […]

  32. post card mailing

    […]we prefer to honor many other web websites on the web, even though they aren’t linked to us, by linking to them. Under are some webpages worth checking out[…]

  33. stubby holders

    […]we like to honor numerous other world wide web web-sites on the net, even though they aren’t linked to us, by linking to them. Below are some webpages really worth checking out[…]

  34. pdr class

    […]we prefer to honor quite a few other online sites around the net, even when they aren’t linked to us, by linking to them. Below are some webpages worth checking out[…]

  35. kona coffee

    […]Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine a handful of unrelated data, nonetheless genuinely really worth taking a appear, whoa did 1 study about Mid East has got additional problerms at the same time […]

  36. coffee beans

    […]Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine a handful of unrelated data, nonetheless truly worth taking a look, whoa did one particular understand about Mid East has got more problerms also […]

  37. saltwater fish

    […]very few internet websites that occur to become detailed beneath, from our point of view are undoubtedly effectively really worth checking out[…]

  38. akar

    […]very few web sites that come about to become detailed beneath, from our point of view are undoubtedly nicely really worth checking out[…]

  39. t20 world cup score

    […]we like to honor quite a few other online internet sites on the web, even though they aren’t linked to us, by linking to them. Underneath are some webpages really worth checking out[…]

  40. Buy Twitter Followers

    […]we like to honor a lot of other net internet sites around the net, even if they aren’t linked to us, by linking to them. Under are some webpages worth checking out[…]

  41. wood fix

    […]check beneath, are some absolutely unrelated sites to ours, on the other hand, they may be most trustworthy sources that we use[…]

  42. Wristwatches

    […]we prefer to honor many other world-wide-web web pages on the internet, even though they aren’t linked to us, by linking to them. Underneath are some webpages really worth checking out[…]

  43. check here

    […]Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine a handful of unrelated information, nonetheless seriously really worth taking a look, whoa did one study about Mid East has got far more problerms at the same time […]

  44. Exhibition Banner Stand

    […]we like to honor numerous other world-wide-web internet sites on the web, even if they aren’t linked to us, by linking to them. Beneath are some webpages worth checking out[…]

  45. 3×4 Pop Up Stand

    […]that may be the finish of this post. Here you will obtain some web-sites that we consider you will appreciate, just click the links over[…]

  46. today important news in world

    […]Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine a couple of unrelated data, nevertheless actually really worth taking a search, whoa did one master about Mid East has got extra problerms too […]

  47. spas

    […]that would be the end of this report. Here you’ll discover some web sites that we assume you’ll value, just click the hyperlinks over[…]

  48. kona coffee

    […]Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine several unrelated information, nevertheless actually worth taking a look, whoa did one study about Mid East has got more problerms too […]

  49. click for more

    […]we like to honor many other online sites on the internet, even when they aren’t linked to us, by linking to them. Under are some webpages worth checking out[…]

  50. 밤알바

    […]Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine a couple of unrelated information, nevertheless definitely really worth taking a look, whoa did one particular study about Mid East has got far more problerms too […]

  51. canlı sohbet hattı

    […]Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine a number of unrelated information, nonetheless actually worth taking a appear, whoa did 1 study about Mid East has got more problerms also […]

  52. pdr course

    […]we prefer to honor several other internet sites around the internet, even though they aren’t linked to us, by linking to them. Under are some webpages worth checking out[…]

  53. tent rentals

    […]we prefer to honor quite a few other net web sites around the internet, even though they aren’t linked to us, by linking to them. Beneath are some webpages worth checking out[…]

  54. rimless eyeglasses

    […]Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine some unrelated information, nonetheless really worth taking a appear, whoa did one master about Mid East has got far more problerms too […]

  55. orologi in legno

    […]that may be the finish of this report. Right here you’ll uncover some sites that we consider you’ll value, just click the hyperlinks over[…]

  56. babagroup

    […]very few sites that take place to be comprehensive beneath, from our point of view are undoubtedly very well worth checking out[…]

  57. Learn More

    […]very handful of sites that transpire to become detailed beneath, from our point of view are undoubtedly very well worth checking out[…]

  58. that site

    […]we like to honor a lot of other online web-sites on the net, even though they aren’t linked to us, by linking to them. Beneath are some webpages really worth checking out[…]

  59. this link

    […]just beneath, are several absolutely not connected sites to ours, on the other hand, they’re surely worth going over[…]

  60. pill binder

    […]very few internet websites that transpire to be detailed below, from our point of view are undoubtedly very well worth checking out[…]

  61. aeroponics tower garden systems

    […]Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine a number of unrelated information, nonetheless definitely really worth taking a search, whoa did one particular learn about Mid East has got more problerms also […]

  62. pure kona beans

    […]Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine several unrelated data, nevertheless really really worth taking a look, whoa did one particular understand about Mid East has got far more problerms also […]

  63. back links

    […]very few web-sites that come about to be comprehensive below, from our point of view are undoubtedly well really worth checking out[…]

  64. acheter like

    […]Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine a few unrelated information, nevertheless truly worth taking a search, whoa did a single study about Mid East has got additional problerms also […]

  65. Denver web designer

    […]very few internet sites that come about to be comprehensive beneath, from our point of view are undoubtedly nicely really worth checking out[…]

  66. index

    […]we came across a cool web page that you simply may possibly appreciate. Take a look should you want[…]

  67. kona coffee

    […]The information and facts talked about within the report are several of the most beneficial readily available […]

  68. Judgment enforcement

    […]we like to honor several other web websites on the net, even when they aren’t linked to us, by linking to them. Beneath are some webpages really worth checking out[…]

  69. Chicago Waste

    […]Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine a couple of unrelated information, nevertheless truly really worth taking a search, whoa did a single discover about Mid East has got much more problerms as well […]

  70. Strompreise

    […]check below, are some entirely unrelated internet websites to ours, however, they may be most trustworthy sources that we use[…]

  71. huawei phones

    […]Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine a number of unrelated information, nevertheless definitely worth taking a look, whoa did a single study about Mid East has got more problerms at the same time […]

  72. Free Defense Games

    […]although internet websites we backlink to below are considerably not connected to ours, we feel they’re truly worth a go by way of, so have a look[…]

  73. wood project ideas

    […]we like to honor quite a few other online web-sites around the net, even when they aren’t linked to us, by linking to them. Under are some webpages really worth checking out[…]

  74. …Recent Blogroll Additions

    […] What web host are you the usage of? Can I get affiliate hyperlink to your host? I wish web site loaded up as quickly as yours lol[…]

  75. floor lamination

    […]that could be the finish of this post. Here you will discover some web-sites that we believe you’ll value, just click the links over[…]

  76. …Take a look for more Information on that topic

    […]The entire glance of your web site is wonderful, let well as the content![…]

  77. car washing san diego

    […]we prefer to honor numerous other internet websites on the internet, even though they aren’t linked to us, by linking to them. Beneath are some webpages really worth checking out[…]

  78. original site

    […]Every when inside a though we opt for blogs that we read. Listed below would be the most up-to-date web pages that we pick […]

  79. fukuidatumou

    […]that could be the end of this post. Right here you will locate some web pages that we feel you will appreciate, just click the links over[…]

  80. aquatic fish

    […]Every after inside a even though we choose blogs that we read. Listed beneath would be the most recent web-sites that we pick out […]

  81. trading futures

    […]just beneath, are quite a few completely not connected websites to ours, having said that, they’re certainly really worth going over[…]

  82. SEO expert

    […]Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine some unrelated information, nonetheless seriously really worth taking a appear, whoa did a single learn about Mid East has got much more problerms also […]

  83. earn extra cash online

    […]Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine a number of unrelated information, nonetheless actually worth taking a appear, whoa did a single discover about Mid East has got additional problerms as well […]

  84. كارفور

    […]check beneath, are some entirely unrelated sites to ours, on the other hand, they’re most trustworthy sources that we use[…]

  85. kona-coffee-bean.com

    […]although internet sites we backlink to beneath are considerably not associated to ours, we really feel they are essentially worth a go by, so have a look[…]

  86. garden

    […]although web-sites we backlink to beneath are considerably not connected to ours, we really feel they are truly worth a go by way of, so have a look[…]

  87. app creator

    […]Every as soon as inside a although we select blogs that we study. Listed beneath would be the most recent internet sites that we pick […]

  88. 皮克灵 楼花

    […]we prefer to honor numerous other net websites around the web, even when they aren’t linked to us, by linking to them. Below are some webpages really worth checking out[…]

  89. Augsburg

    […]we prefer to honor quite a few other internet internet sites around the internet, even when they aren’t linked to us, by linking to them. Under are some webpages really worth checking out[…]

  90. Used car dealer

    […]that will be the end of this write-up. Right here you’ll find some sites that we feel you’ll enjoy, just click the hyperlinks over[…]

  91. coworking vacation

    […]although web-sites we backlink to below are considerably not related to ours, we really feel they are in fact really worth a go as a result of, so possess a look[…]

  92. Todays news

    […]although internet sites we backlink to below are considerably not connected to ours, we feel they are essentially really worth a go via, so possess a look[…]

  93. supplies

    […]Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine a number of unrelated data, nevertheless definitely really worth taking a appear, whoa did a single master about Mid East has got much more problerms as well […]

  94. porn

    […]check below, are some completely unrelated web-sites to ours, however, they may be most trustworthy sources that we use[…]

  95. DR Jaydani

    […]although web sites we backlink to beneath are considerably not connected to ours, we really feel they may be really worth a go by way of, so have a look[…]

  96. APT2X61D100J

    […]that could be the finish of this post. Right here you’ll find some sites that we feel you will appreciate, just click the links over[…]

  97. Royal Albert Hall

    […]that will be the end of this post. Right here you’ll obtain some web sites that we assume you’ll value, just click the hyperlinks over[…]

  98. matka

    […]here are some hyperlinks to sites that we link to due to the fact we assume they are really worth visiting[…]

  99. …For further Information click here

    […]The overall look of your website is excellent, let neatly as the content material![…]

  100. internet

    […]Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine a number of unrelated data, nonetheless truly really worth taking a look, whoa did one master about Mid East has got more problerms at the same time […]

  101. Cheap Crop Tops

    […]we prefer to honor a lot of other world wide web websites around the net, even though they aren’t linked to us, by linking to them. Underneath are some webpages really worth checking out[…]

  102. sex toys

    […]very couple of web-sites that happen to be in depth beneath, from our point of view are undoubtedly effectively really worth checking out[…]

  103. satta matka

    […]that would be the finish of this report. Right here you will obtain some web pages that we feel you’ll appreciate, just click the links over[…]

  104. read review

    […]very few internet websites that take place to be in depth beneath, from our point of view are undoubtedly well worth checking out[…]

  105. Convert your video files here

    […]Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine a couple of unrelated information, nevertheless actually really worth taking a look, whoa did one learn about Mid East has got more problerms as well […]

  106. app maker

    […]we like to honor a lot of other world wide web sites on the internet, even when they aren’t linked to us, by linking to them. Underneath are some webpages worth checking out[…]

  107. View video

    […]very handful of web sites that transpire to become in depth below, from our point of view are undoubtedly properly really worth checking out[…]

  108. paper fans

    […]Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine a handful of unrelated data, nonetheless actually worth taking a look, whoa did one learn about Mid East has got more problerms as well […]

  109. glass coasters

    […]Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine some unrelated information, nevertheless definitely really worth taking a look, whoa did one learn about Mid East has got far more problerms too […]

  110. Denver office space news

    […]we like to honor a lot of other internet internet sites around the internet, even when they aren’t linked to us, by linking to them. Underneath are some webpages really worth checking out[…]

  111. click

    […]we prefer to honor many other world-wide-web web pages on the internet, even if they aren’t linked to us, by linking to them. Below are some webpages really worth checking out[…]

  112. Fenster und Turen

    […]Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine some unrelated information, nevertheless seriously really worth taking a appear, whoa did one particular master about Mid East has got more problerms also […]

  113. Turen

    […]very handful of web sites that transpire to be detailed beneath, from our point of view are undoubtedly well really worth checking out[…]

Comments are closed.