It took time for the Internet to evolve and mature into what it is today – growth aligned to a maturing marketplace. According to Dan Rowinkski in his article How the Internet of Things Will Evolve Just Like the Internet, the same will be true about the Internet of Things (IoT).
The general growth of the internet, at least in the early days, was slow. From ARPANET in 1969, to the introduction of the World Wide Web (WWW) 20 years later, it took time to build communication networks: They were expanded as the market became ready for them. After the advent of the www, which served as a kind of tipping point, Internet growth escalated and, for the most part, stayed consistent. The web browser was first introduced in 1995 and from there, handheld smart devices and a wealth of other internet developments grew exponentially — shaping — and being shaped — by the surrounding global marketplace. Thankfully, around the same time, OpenStand affirming partner Berners-Lee founded the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) in 1994 to develop protocols and standards to define the Web.
Each stage of this exciting growth was marked by challenges, as members of society worked together to figure out how to develop standards that supported technology growth, innovation, interoperability and safety in the best interest of humanity. Internet standards were developed as much by necessity as desire.
The OpenStand principles were based on the exponential growth and collaboration of this period — drawing from the effective and efficient collaboration that made the Internet and the Web extensible platforms for innovation and borderless commerce. The principles stress voluntary adoption and empower the economies of global markets — fueled by technological innovation — to drive global standards deployment.
Rowinski argues that, the IoT will grow based on a pathway parallel to the internet itself. He asserts that for IoT, it may be difficult to identify a hallmark or milestone, that marks its tipping point (as the WWW did for the Internet), a development that defines the “era,” the growth will mark a similar path.
At the same time, says Rowinski, “the difference between the growth of the Internet of Things and the Internet itself is that IoT is building on top of and extending the exponential growth of the Internet.” Indeed, the two are not separate entities — but a continuing path on the growth of the Internet.
Dr. Kevin Curran of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), is quoted in agreement. Curran asserts that “standards and consumer protections will evolve with the Internet of Things in the same way they have over the last 20 years of the Web.” He goes further to state “What we have are proprietary solutions as everyone is racing to get that killer Internet of Things device.”
As the market matures within IoT, so will standards, just have grown and matured for the Internet as we know it today. OpenStand recently posted a panel discussion on the role of open standards in expanding the IoT where we highlighted the need for balance of proprietary and open standards, emphasizing that the common values of the Internet should govern the IoT domain. One example of how this has been done effectively is the IoT alliance between Open Interconnect Consortium and Industrial Internet Consortium, which serves to underscore the idea that more open collaboration is necessary to develop the kind of interoperability necessary to ensure the success of the Internet of Things.
Innovation and technology, through the growth of the Internet and subsequent development of both proprietary and open standards, will help ready the market to take on the challenges of IoT, and pave the way for future innovation. The complexities are deeper, but that also makes the opportunity that much greater.
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