Almost imperceptibly the "Internet of Things" is building all around us. Every time you turn around, there is another class of embedded systems being connected to the Internet.
As 2011 unfolds, that Internet of Things is going to become a lot more apparent because of three intersecting trends. The first is the rise of system-on-a-chip (SOC) architectures that will make it a lot easier to embed processors in places most of us would not have thought possible. The second is the advent of cloud computing platforms that will make it a lot easier to remotely manage these devices. And the third is the proliferation of application development tools that will attract more developers to build these types of applications.
One company trying to drive the latter two trends is Axeda, a provider of a cloud computing platform for running and managing machine-to-machine (M2M) applications. Most recently, Axeda decided to help spur the development of M2M applications by giving developers free access to the Axeda development environment starting today.
Axeda CEO Dale Calder says the Axeda development environment is built around familiar Web application development constructs, which means just about any developer can easily learn how to build M2M applications.
One other factor driving the adoption of M2M that is little appreciated, says Calder, is how keen carriers are to get high-margin M2M traffic on their networks as a counterbalance to increasingly low-margin consumer traffic. As such, Calder says carriers have a major push to work with businesses to connect just about everything and anything to the Internet.
It's pretty clear at this juncture that there may be more opportunity to use IT outside than in these days. And as that trend continues, it's also clear that this Internet of Things may wind up having a much bigger impact on the adoption of cloud computing than anybody currently realizes.