Please Don't Break The Internet of Things

Posted on February 16th, 2015

The Internet of Things is undoubtedly one of the 'Next Big Things' of the tech world. The idea that we can interface and automate mundane tasks like the Jetson's is simply too big of a draw to the 'Tribe of Shiny Objects' (re: us) for it to not be.

And we're already on the cusp of destroying its usefulness.

Jeremy Ellis is a maker with an axe to grind. His foray into making things using some of the common tools available to us early adopters has left him frustrated that the tools to simplify common tasks are simply not readily available yet. He devices that offer common control leads for easy hookup to the Spark Core and other controllers. His solution is of and open and ready world to interface with is beautifully simple.

And the world seems to be having none of that.

Companies are already drawing lines of demarcation to compete for this market segment. Google buys Nest and declared it the starting point to all their IoT endeavors. Apple's HomeKit promises a common protocol that will unquestionably be as open as Lightning connector and countless other Apple hardware and software protocols that stand before it. Home Depot, Lowe's, and even Staples all have tossed their hats into the ring, and each with their own unique blend of control over the ecosystem they hope you'll buy from them.

The Internet of Things needs to be open. There is too much at stake for the consumers to not have control over what they connect and how they connect it. I don't think I'm alone in my worry that some fancy device I have suddenly stops working because my ISP goes down, the company simply stops supporting a key feature you may use, or that Kickstarter you backed simply vanishes from the Internet.

Even if these issues aren't of concern to you, the consumer, then instead maybe you should consider whether some of these companies are really in a position to have unlimited control of cameras, microphones, and locks in your house.

Let us mix and match what hubs we buy, what products we use with them, and what services we opt to link up with. I know companies hate to hear this, but we own the products we buy, and we have a right to use them the way we, not you, think we want to use them.

If your ecosystem is worth our attention, we'll jump in with both feet. But don't Canon and Nikon us, please.