From Machine-to-Machine to the Internet of Things: Introduction to a New Age of Intelligence
In the emerging Internet of Things (IoT) billions of devices will need to interact with each-other and exchange information in order to fulfil their purpose. Much of this communication is expected to happen over Internet technologies and tap to the extensive experiences acquired with architectures and technologies in the Internet over the last decades. More sophisticated, though still overwhelmingly experimental approaches, go beyond simple communication integration and target more complex interactions where collaboration of devices and systems is taking place. The Internet of Things signals the dawn of a new age of intelligence with far reaching implications for our everyday lives and business.
Promising real-world integration is done via service oriented approaches, by interacting directly with the respective physical elements e.g. via traditional web services running on devices (if supported) or via more lightweight approaches such as REST/CoAP. In the case of legacy systems, gateways and service mediators are in place to enable smooth migration. In IoT era, many of the services that will interact with the devices are expected to be network services available e.g. in the cloud. The main motivation for device-dependent enterprise services, is to take advantage of the cloud characteristics such as virtualization, scalability, multi-tenacy, performance, lifecycle management etc. Similarly we expect to see that a large number of devices and generally Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) will make their functionality available on the cloud or enable virtual proxies of the devices to exist there. This will kickstart a new era of sophisticated IoT-enabled applications and services that will have a wide business impact. Several research projects have been carried out in the last years by SAP Research such as SOCRADES, IMC-AESOP, makeSense, SmartHouse/SmartGrid, NOBEL, SmartKYE (indicative list), to investigate the feasibility and benefits of IoT in industrial automation, smart grid cities and modern enterprises. Currently SAP is extending the SAP HANA technology platform to support IoT, which includes providing capabilities for device management and application enablement.
Together with Jan Höller (Ericsson), Vlasios Tsiatsis (Ericsson), Stefan Avesand (Ericsson), Catherine Mulligan (Imperial College) and David Boyle (Imperial College) we have put down a book titled “From Machine-to-Machine to the Internet of Things: Introduction to a New Age of Intelligence“, in an effort to outline the overall vision for Machine-to-Machine (M2M) and key Internet of Things (ioT) concepts, services and application examples. We consider that this book is a good fit for people that want to grasp the basics behind the IoT, as well as those that want to have a view on visionary directions that are demonstrated in research projects today and may be mainstream in the years to come. The blog entry by Jan at Ericsson expands a bit more on the motivation and content.