IPSO Alliance – Internet of Things
October 12, 2011 - The IPSO Alliance held a press event in the middle of theit committee meetings in Santa Clara. The group is focused on IP as the interoperability protocol for Smart Objects. Smart objects, an Internet of Things and ubiquitous computing are no longer “future” issues, these areas are here today. These products are pervasive in almost all activities - energy, food production, asset tracking, health care, predictive maintenance, buildings and personal residence, defense, safety and security, and communication. The challenge to allow for centralized communication and telemetrics management is to have a way from all these pieces to interoperate. The goal of the IPSO alliance is to have inter-operation take place using standard network IP infrastructure for Smart Objects.
IP provides an intermediate layer for handling small electronics that can operate on a very “thin” client basis with either energy scavenged or battery power. The IP interface will allow for data to be passed with either TCP or UDP protocols to processing applications locally or in the cloud. Additionally, it will allow for centralized monitoring and control from ethernet, wifi, zigbee, bluetooth, and cellular network carriers. The alliance is focusing on the creation of standards and promotion of the IP interface to be able to utilize existing specifications and technology that will make it possible for rapid adoption of the technology. They are also holding “plug fest” events with their partners to determine functional interoperability between devices and compatibility with centralized control and application software.
The kickoff press event featured 5 speakers - Pete St. Pierre and Geoff Mulligan (chairman) both of the IPSO Alliance, Bo Begole of PARC, Stuart Sikes of Park Associates, and Whit Diffie now of Revere Security. The talks featured an overview of why IPSO was put together, the market projections and areas of growth for the Internet of Things, the impact of ubiquitous computing and the data interpretation, and the security aspect of the communication streams. Bo focused his talk on the idea of identifying and exploiting “Levels of contextual intelligence”. These levels are a 4 stage stack that has the Semantics going from simple (bottom) to complex (top) and the intelligence moves from Context-Aware to Behavior-Aware to Activity-Aware and finally to Goal-Aware.
Whit Diffie, co-inventor of public key encrytion, talked about the new encryption system that he developed at Revere Security that solves two critical issues for the IOT to be successful. One is a high security methodology that is compatible with simple 8 and 16 bit micro-controllers rather than full multi-core CPUs, and the other is reducing the power required to both encrypt and decrypt to about 5% of the current consumption for a 16 bit block key.
The IPSO alliance is both a marketing support / promtion group and a techical organization. They are seeking to approve and aggregate specification from other technical groups to being the “interoperability” center for the various technology nodes in this space. At the exhibitor fair, they were showing home lighting and environmental control, power and smart meter products, and standalone lighting products that are all available now. There was discussion of future products that will be coming to market in 2012-2014.