The concept of the Internet of Things, an interconnected network of various devices, runs the gamut from smart refrigerators with huge screens to video locks that you can control from your smartphone. Various control methods and hubs for IoT have been released in the past, including the likes of Amazon’s Alexa and LG’s SmartThinQ, that allow a user to tell devices how to work together to form a cohesive “smart home”. The way that IoT devices works together, known as “orchestration”, is still a big hurdle in the space. According to Googler Wayne Piekarski, speaking at the Bluetooth World Conference in Santa Clara, California, fine-tuning orchestration to create holistic experiences will likely be the next big focus for IoT developers.
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According to Piekarski, Google is aiming to help with this orchestration revolution. Making use of IoT platforms like Brillo & Weave, Google hopes to allow developers to write apps and firmware that can cooperate between devices and even between manufacturers. Essentially, they want your devices to work together seamlessly. A good example would be something like an Amazon Alexa being told to turn on the LG smart light bulbs in the kitchen while starting up a fresh pot of joe in your Nespresso Prodigio smart coffee maker. Normally, all of these actions being done together would require setting up a utility such as Tasker or IFTTT, or simply firing up the individual control app for each device on your smartphone.
Google’s Product Strategy Manager, Scott Jenson, also had a few words about orchestration, particularly Google’s own efforts. Speaking in a panel centered around Google’s open-source “Physical Web” IoT efforts, Jenson said that the project is one of the most popular projects on community code site GitHub. He also said that many IoT products are coming into the market, but the public at large is only beginning to get used to the technology and integrate it into their lives, leaving tons of room for improvement and future development. On the matter of security, however, Piekarski painted a somewhat grim picture. According to Piekarski, IoT security currently leaves a lot to be desired. He even went as far as to say that he expects that a full-on security breach is what it will take for IoT developers to start focusing more on security. With security and orchestration being looked at hand in hand by the bigger names in the tech sphere, 2016 is shaping up to be an exciting year for the IoT field.