Part I — So What is The Internet of Things?
The full article was originally published by James Sutton on Medium. Read the full article here.
The Seed Was Planted…
When I first started to learn about IOTA and the Tangle I was very intrigued how a few founders developed a technology that deviated from the traditional blockchain crypto model. Instead of simply using the crypto-economic foundation where security of the network is based on Proof-of-Work (PoW), mining, and incentives, the founders took a leap and thought outside of the box. They dared to create a network based on a completely different approach.
Elon Musk once said, “When something is important enough, you do it even if the odds are not in your favor”. Well, the odds were certainly not in the founders favor when they decided to create the Tangle. As everyone in the crypto space focused on an incentivized based decentralized or distributed system, they dared to take on the insurmountable challenge of creating a network protocol in which the security was not based on fees. Instead, they sought out to create the Tangle, where the users of the network had the same motivation as those who run nodes and maintain it; a working, secure, scalable distributed network.
Steve Jobs once said, “People with Passion can Change the World”. It wasn’t hard to see, that if the developers could step so far outside of the norm and take on such an immense challenge… there is no doubt that they have passion flowing through their veins and the ability to change the world.
The enthusiasm that I saw within the developers and the community filled my spirit. Soon I found myself diving down the proverbial rabbit hole. I was never a techie, I had no idea what the Internet of Things was, nor have I heard of Linux. Yet something took hold of me in 2017 and I found myself trying to understand not only what the Tangle is, but what is the Internet of Things, and how does it all connect.
It has taken me nearly twenty-four months to partially understand not only what IoT is, but also, why is a secure protocol so important for the infrastructure? Why is security essential in regards to edge devices and sensors? Is it easy for companies to develop within the IoT space, and how accessible is something like Artificial Intelligence (Ai) to the world?
In the end, I wondered how IOTA and the Tangle can provide a solution for it all? How can it enable a trustless, distributed, and secure data communication layer? How can the Tangle provide a flexible and user friendly protocol to enable governments, companies, and people have an option to easily build applications in a cost effective manner?
Also, how about all of the data generated by the Internet of Things? Is it possible to offer a platform which can analyze the data for integrity, create collection efficiency, and allow for a foundation of a digital marketplace? The more I researched the more I found that these not only are the needs of IoT, but that there is an answer as well.
So what is the Internet of Things?
In the Forbes article ‘A Simple Explanation of the ‘The Internet of Things’, they state, “Simply put, this is the concept of basically connecting any device with an on and off switch to the Internet (and/or to each other). This includes everything from cellphones, coffee makers, washing machines, headphones, lamps, wearable devices and almost anything else you can think of. This also applies to components of machines, for example a jet engine of an airplane or the drill of an oil rig. As I mentioned, if it has an on and off switch then chances are it can be a part of the IoT”.