IoT Discussion at BCS

Notes from meeting 8th Feb 2103.  I have been attending all sorts of IoT meetings about interoperability after getting revved up by discussions at the TSB and particpation in a bid for their ecosystem demonstrator.  Now BCS are forming a group.

Judging by the length of the attendee list vs. the number of people in the room I would judge the level of interest to be no more than moderate. I was hoping for more Q&A but, as usual, the presentations overran. Of the two, the one from ARM was about what we already know. It’s a big opportunity. That said, he did mention the problem of too much vertical integration at the end but, sadly, put very little emphasis on it. The second, from independent Chris Yapp was about the issues and this is what I had come for.

My own perspective going in was that we need to get on with solving the silo problem or someone else will and we may not like the outcome. Chris reinforced that on 2 levels. One, the lack of a basis for wide-ranging apps as opposed to vertically integrated silos. The other, the numerous risks of all this data flying around in an infrastructure with poor network coverage, uncertainty of power supplies (as a lot of existing provision gets switched off) and concerns about privacy and resistance to attack.

I asked: “Should the emphasis of BCS be on bring the market forward in the UK or should we slow it down while we address the risks? The answer is that we probably need to do both in parallel.

Other questions tended either to emphasise the risks or to trivialise the challenges, e.g. IPv6 is the solution (which, of course, it’s not).

The BCS group is closed at the moment while they write a paper. Fair enough, so long as they open it up ASAP. My hope is that there was at least one work stream associated with the horizontal integration challenges such as semantics, naming and data formats. I think this will best be done on a sectoral basic to start with. Ideally several sectors in parallel and plenty of information exchange between them to pull out the common factors.

More on this to follow, especially after we find out what happened to our TSB bid.