The Internet of things will not arrive in 2014

Security, power, and network management are a few issues that mean 2014 will not be the year of the Internet of things

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Unless those data centers are powered by green energy, or someone finds a way to keep them from being built, their huge power demands will make a significant contribution to global warming. And given yet another new trend, "green fatigue," I'm not confident that we'll really see the widespread deployment of green data centers in time to make a difference.

The Internet of things is too big to manage or secure

Then there's the issue of managing so many devices. Although the industry is generally quite optimistic about IPv6, which in theory can supply an almost unlimited number of addresses, it still hasn't been widely deployed, and the transition could be tougher than anyone cares to admit.

Addressing issues aside, what about moving data to and fro among billions of devices? It's quite a challenge, and here's where Cisco has embraced another "year of" sort-of-thing: fog computing. Cisco defines that new buzzword as "the convergence of networking and compute at the edge of networks to create a more distributed intelligence that balances the need for centralized megascale data centers with more locally useful computing and decision making capabilities." Not exactly local, not exactly cloud -- fog.

Then, of course, there's the Sisyphean task of securing so many devices. Indeed, Symantec has already discovered a worm that targets the Internet of things. Security vendors are of course salivating about something new to portray as a threat, with the cries about mobile doom and gloom still not happening; Boxtone this week announced its Internet of things security management tools, for example.

In the Internet of things, every user becomes an admin -- oh, joy!

Closer to home, as in the user's home, there's this: "We're about to hit the ceiling of what people are willing to babysit," says Mark Rolston, chief creative officer at Frog Design. "How many devices do you want to try and keep alive and awake throughout the day?" What with linking devices, entering passwords, managing home Wi-Fi, and dealing with corporate IT departments at work, connected life is already hard for some users -- "They are network admins, by accident," Rolston said during a session at last month's Open Mobile Summit.

Still, that's not stopping developers for looking at new things to put on the Internet -- your garage door, for instance. Why your garage door? Suppose you just got to work and you have one of those Homer Simpson moments: "Doh! I didn't close the garage door. Or did I?" A company called Chamberlain showed off at a Broadcom event a device called MyQ that includes a rather ingenious sensor that detects the position of the door and it lets you know its status by virtue of a smartphone app. If it's open, you can tell it to close.

If you're unlucky enough to deal with the craziness of CES next month, you can be sure you'll see lots more gadgets like that garage door opener. (Broadcom, in case you wondered, makes the chips in the sensor.)

Actually, that MyQ gadget is kind of cool, but I'm not sure the world needs billions of devices like that.

I welcome your comments, tips, and suggestions. Post them here (Add a comment) so that all our readers can share them, or reach me at bill@billsnyder.biz. Follow me on Twitter at BSnyderSF.

This article, "The Internet of things will not arrive in 2014," was originally published by InfoWorld.com. Read more of Bill Snyder's Tech's Bottom Line blog and follow the latest technology business developments at InfoWorld.com. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.

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