Interoperability of IoT and Smart Cities
With the concept of smart cities gaining traction across the world, there are a number of challenges to be faced before it can truly be said to have gone worldwide.
There are countless IoT technologies emerging that offer much promise for what can be achieved and by connecting all of these Smart devices, systems and sensors together, much of a city’s infrastructure can be automated to offer a seamless experience for its inhabitants.
The biggest challenge being faced right now to a global implementation of an integrated citywide IoT network has not been one of investment, rather one of the interoperability between the various devices and systems in use. Despite there having been much work to standardise the way IoT hardware is configured to ensure this interoperability, problems still exists with some manufacturers still not adhering to the guidelines.
The Open Connectivity Foundation
Much of the work that has already gone into developing a unified set of standards for IoT hardware production has been carried out by the Open Connectivity Foundation , which boasts over 300 members from across the technology world. Amongst their number are tech giants like Samsung, Intel and Microsoft, all of whom understand the importance of everyone pulling in the same direction.
The foundation was set up in 2014 and its mission is an extremely important one if smart cities are to achieve their full potential. The reason being that if a disparate collection of devices, each with its own operating separate system, are all thrown together, they will find it difficult to communicate with each other, if communication is even possible.
This interoperability also has ramifications for individual consumers of IoT hardware, as those investing in automation devices for their home will be forced to stay with the same manufacturer for the life of their home setup – as devices from other manufacturers simply wouldn’t be able to ‘talk’ to any others. It’s a basic concept, but one on which the development of smart cities rests, if they can be expected to be everything they can be in the truest sense.
If the complex systems that are required in a city to control and monitor traffic flow, air pollution and energy efficiency are to work as one seamless entity, then the paradigm of Vendor lock in must be avoided. The major manufacturers must work together with a sense of unity in order for goals to be achieved, as consistency of operating systems, protocols and interfaces are just the beginning.
Smart cities are coming. The only variable left seems to be when they are globally adopted and the subject of interoperability will likely continue to be a hot topic in the industry for some time to come.
At Sure Universal, we offer the complete IoT software platform, which allows for the implementation of user friendly, scalable and secure solutions for our clients. If you would like to find out more about home or office automation, IoT or even smart cities, you should take a look through our website www.sureuniversal.com.
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