The open approach to designing and layering the protocols that make the Internet work ensured that the Internet’s architecture is robust and that it evolves in a tractable way. The same approach to the problem is valid and desirable now when we are starting to put ten to a hundred times more things on the Internet than people. The good news is that we aren’t starting from scratch: many of the architectural layers and technologies already exist on the web and can be adapted to work on IoT devices.
With the widespread adoption of modern microcontrollers (MCUs) in very inexpensive and energy-efficient form factors, we now have the ability to make even the smallest embedded device a first-class citizen of the Internet. The open standards that support their operation have evolved to the point where they can be deployed on constrained devices (and networks) in a secure and robust way.
The Internet of Things really only becomes a reality when we connect things with services in a seamless, secure and simple way. To understand just how big of a paradigm shift this is, we can look back at the history of the web. The Internet before the web was very much silos of solutions from the likes of America On-Line (AOL), Prodigy and CompuServe, forming technology and content silos very much like M2M systems.