It’s the year 2031 and the doomsday has long gone! Smartphones, tablets, smart-TVs and humanity have survived yet another decade of new innovations, technological advancements and brutal competition! This is the new age of intelligent machines and the Internet of things. No one would have imagined this day where life is so connected and everything that you could possibility interfaces with have an intelligence of its own! This is the true “Rise of the Machines” and it is not just a science fiction movie with androids chasing humans to win a war, it is a realization of the dreams of every technology fanatic!
Lets come back to the present day, it is still the year 2015 and even though Rise of the Machines is largely considered to be a science fiction movie, ironically “androids” and “apples” are chasing humans to win a war of mobility! J Well, keeping this interesting analogy aside lets focus on the future and the true rise of the machines era. Internet of things could perhaps be called the Holy Grail for this desired future of smart homes, smart offices and smart everything. Currently when we talk about Internet of things we inherently think of manufacturing and warehouse related applications or perhaps even smaller and more isolated applications like smart TVs, smart door locks etc. Amidst these limited applications of this technology, the vision of the future hasn’t lost its hope. The biggest example of this can be seen in the vision of top 2 mobility giants Google, Inc. and Apple, Inc., who have acknowledged and understood the necessity of common platforms and development environment to encourage developers and enterprises to write applications for these smart devices of the future.
Apple’s HomeKit is a framework for communicating with and controlling connected accessories in a user’s home environment. You can enable users to discover HomeKit accessories in their home/offices and even configure them, or you can simply create actions to control these devices. Users can group definitive actions together and trigger them using Siri’s voice command interface. Apple’s approach is pretty much iOS centric where devices running iOS are required to enable user interactions and triggers with these intelligent devices. Google on the other hand have a very different approach to this problem, whereby they want to provide a lightweight operating system that could be loaded on such smart devices and configured to support near distance communication protocols like 802.11a/b/g/n, Bluetooth and NFC etc. Google have recently announced public availability of project Brillo and Weave that serves its long-term vision towards enabling and encouraging community sourced application development for smart devices of the future.
The idea of smart devices and smart homes is not new and even though it looks like a science fiction, its roots goes back to early 90’s when a scientist by the name Mark Weiser proposed the concept of Ubiquitous computing, a concept of software engineering where computing is made available everywhere and anywhere. There are companies like SmartThings, Inc. (established in 2005) who have already developed low cost consumer friendly solutions for the smart homes of the present. Their smart app solution can easily monitor your intelligent devices, control your lights, locks, electronics, appliances and other connected devices in your home from anywhere in the world and even customize your connected devices to work in completely new ways when your needs changes.
“In essence, whether we like it or not in the next 10 years we will have very different outlook towards technology that we use daily in our lives. Intelligence and environmental awareness of smart devices is going to exponentially increase in coming years leading to acceleration in consumer adoption. Eventually we will see the true Rise of the Machines, not as some science fiction suggesting a doomsday, rather a reality that shall define the future of our existence with an intelligent and self-aware environment.”
About the Author
Vishal Srivastava is a technology enthusiast based in Singapore and has over 12 years of experience in systems virtualization; cloud computing, systems architecture, software research and development. He works for a leading virtualization and cloud computing company as an engineering manager and has articulated, started and delivered many open-source and commercial projects around cloud computing and server virtualization domains. Vishal is a passionate blogger and owner of www.Cloud-Kin.com, his personal blog around cloud computing and its related technologies.