Saturday, September 10, 2011

On the Internet of Things (IoT)

Over the years I faced a lot of skeptic people, for the entire idea of event processing.     In the early days when I explained people what event processing is,  one of the common reactions was:  this is not really practical,  you would never be able to get hold of the events you need for this application.    This has some truth in it,  the producer and consumer parts of event processing are often the most time and cost consuming parts of an event processing systems,  However, the availability of events increase with time, since many of the current trends, like the IBM smarter planet, are based on the assumption that events of many types and many sources are available.    The picture above the the quasi-logo of the "Internet of Things",  a phrase I always thought as somewhat funny.  The idea is that any "thing" - car, building, cell phone emits events to an Internet scale infrastructure - which gained the name IoT.   There is now a lot of work around IoT,  
Research and Markets recently issued a report about IoT, called it a potential game changer.   The report also mentions event processing as one of the ingredients of IoT.  Here - the relationships comes from both directions,  IoT infrastructure is a source of many events that can be used of many applications with event processing functionality as part of them.  The IoT infrastructure itself requires event processing for filtering, transforming, and reducing the number of events by reporting derived events based on trends, or situations of interest.  We are now looking of some potential use cases for our proactive computing project, and the relations to IoT is clear.  While IoT typically works on the producer (sensor) side, there is also a consumer (actuator) side to it, I'll write more about sensor and actuators examples later. 

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