The InfoSec Blog
15Nov/14

This is not the IoT you want.

http://www.cnet.com/products/quirky-outlink/

If I plug in an IDE drive or a SATA drive or a USB drive or device my mobo or system recognizes what it is. The connection protocol tell the mobo or system.

My digital camera uses exif to convey a vast amount of contextual information and imprint it on each photo: date, time, the camera, shutter, aperture, flash. I have GPS in the camera so it can tell the location, elevation. The exif protocol also allows for vendor specific information and is extensible and customizable.

Unless and until we have an 'exif' for IoT its going to be lame and useless.

What is plugged in to that socket? A fan, a PC, a refrigerator, a charger for your cell phone? What's the rating of the device? How is it used? What functions other than on/off can be controlled?

Lame lame lame lame.
Unimaginative.

Posted by Anton Aylward

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  1. I don’t think I get the issue.

    I don’t follow the Quirky product line, but I think its based upon the Zigbee standard. Layers 3 and down are an extension of 802.15.4 combined with a mesh (broadcast all routes) topology. At the application layer, it has “device objects” that provide the kinds of profiles that you are asking for — the protocol tells anyone else in the mesh that asks what kind of device it is and basic parameters about the system.

    You seem to be observing that legacy applications — that fan or desk light — are just using raw AC, and aren’t communicating anything over that protocol. It seems a little unfair to complain about legacy designs from the turn of last century, when even ENIAC was just a gleam in its father’s eyes. (And for what its worth, raw resources do have an advantage — c.f. “network neutrality”.

    I think we do have naming standards for the IoT. There are still too many of them, perhaps, but they are there.


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