IoT Design Considerations: Interoperability

As more manufacturers enable their products for the IoT, consumers will be introduced to many different cloud applications due to lack of cooperation between difference devices and companies. This is where the emerging IoT standards can help. Device manufacturers who support these standards will be able to ensure their products will be able to work and communicate with other manufacturers’ products that support the same protocols. This makes operating many IoT-enabled devices together much more simple and convenient. This also opens up new business opportunities by allowing for new features that the original manufacturers never dreamed of. For example, interoperability means that one day it might be possible for a consumer to simply say, “good night, house” to their home automation app, and the app will programmatically turn-off all of the main house lights, TV’s and appliances and turn on the outside lighting, set the alarm clock for the morning and set the coffee pot to start brewing when the sun rises. In this example, each device could be from a different manufacturer, but since they all support the same standard, the application knows how to talk to them all and create new service offerings.

Some of the emerging interoperability standards include: Thread (supported by the likes of Google/Nest, Samsung and more), HomeKit (supported by Apple), AllJoyn (supported by Microsoft and Sony, part of the AllSeen Alliance), IETF (an internet standards body) and ETSI (a European-based standards organization – primarily in Telecom). The standards landscape is changing rapidly and manufacturers need to adapt their products to work with these standards as they are consolidated and settled in the future.

To download the complete Internet of Things Design Considerations White Paper, click here.

We've got 99 problems but the IoT ain't one...

To show what the Internet of Things (IoT) can do in your life, our office has come up with a list of our 99 favorite IoT applications, and we’re still going! Some of these applications already exist, and some may not be around for a long time, but we hope you have as much fun with imagining the possibilities as we did. Check it out:

The IoT can…

  1. Send you an alert when your pet is on your furniture.
  2. Connect your bathing suit to monitor sun exposure.
  3. Turn off your lights after you are already tucked into bed.
  4. Alert you if your freezer full of food is defrosting when it is not supposed to be.
  5. Warn you when the gun cabinet is left unlocked for more than a designated amount of time.
  6. Sense any tampering to your boat trailer when you’re out on the water.
  7. Connect a toilet for real time analysis.
  8. Sense the quality of soil to work with a connected sprinkler system for efficient watering.
  9. Preheat your oven when you are on your way home from work.
  10. Connect a fridge to know what’s in it and what items you need to buy or replace.
  11. Automatically order replaceable products such as laundry detergent or disposable razors.
  12. Connect a washing machine/dryer to automate performance.
  13. Notify you of empty food boxes/ or when the food in those boxes has gone bad or stale.
  14. Connect your front door to tell you when someone is there and who they are.
  15. Connect a shopping cart to determine what your total will be at the cash register.
  16. Track your sleep so that your alarm knows the best time to wake you up in the morning.
  17. Connect a package safe to take deliveries and "sign" for you, keeping your packages secure.
  18. Connect residential cameras to monitor potential suspicious activities.
  19. Connect your shower to remember your ideal temperatures.
  20. Dispense pet food automatically to allow you to feed pets from anywhere and at any time.
  21. Alert you for when your washer, dryer, and dishwasher cycles are done.
  22. Connect your curtains/blinds/drapes to reduce furniture damage and conserve energy.
  23. Track livestock.
  24. Sense beverage temperature to make sure your drink is served at the optimal coldness.
  25. Connect a grocery list to recommend recipes based on food you have in your refrigerator and what other products you need to complete the meal, taking health concerns into consideration.
  26. Detect health issues of seniors in a retirement home.
  27. Start and warm your car on a cold day.
  28. Monitor how much water is being used by an individual hose or faucet.
  29. Connect a plate to tell you how many calories you have consumed based on your meal.
  30. Monitor how much electricity is being used by a specific device.
  31. Close your garage door after you have left home and forgotten.
  32. Monitor and control kids' TV and video game time.
  33. Control doors and windows to open or close.
  34. Control opening/closing windows (or an exhaust/intake fan) based on outside temp/weather vs inside temp.
  35. Monitor your spice rack to keep track of which spices you have and how much you have of each.
  36. Connect an HVAC system whose vents open and close automatically based on your ideal temperature.
  37. Connect a basketball court to accurately record players’ stats and determine travelling and out-of-bounds situations.
  38. Connect a kitchen scale and blender to recognize what's being measured and then runs blender accordingly.
  39. Connect shoes to adjust their insoles based on pressure points.
  40. Connect your snack bowl too alert you when you've eaten too much based on the amount you have set.
  41. Monitor air quality.
  42. Connect your fish tank to know when the water needs to be changed or the filter needs to be replaced/
  43. Notify you when furnace filter needs to be replaced.
  44. Wake you up earlier if morning traffic along your route to work is bad or it snowed overnight.
  45. Notify you when the gas for your grill needs replacing.
  46. Record dental hygiene via a connected toothbrush.
  47. Alert you when pet leaves or enters through the "doggie" door.
  48. Connect your coffee maker to learn when and how you like coffee and automatically brew it for you.
  49. Connect your plumbing systems to detect leaks before they cause water damage or mold.
  50. Connect cases for musical instruments to monitor temperature and humidity and whether the case is open or closed.
  51. Alert you when your liquor cabinet has been opened.
  52. Request a replacement for fire extinguishers when expired.
  53. Monitor where poisonous chemicals and cleansers are in the house and alert you when they have been opened or what other chemicals they should not be mixed with.
  54. Monitor a medicine cabinet for when it has been opened and when prescriptions need to be refilled.
  55. Monitor your septic system to warn about overflow and redirect waste to avoid a back up.
  56. Sense the sunlight for daylight harvesting on farms
  57. Monitor swimming pool chemicals and temperature. Avoid a time consuming/expensive algae cleaning.
  58. Alert you when no movement has been detected in a home where an elderly person lives alone.
  59. Monitor when people are entering or leaving the house to check in on a child’s curfew.
  60. Connect a water bottle to analyze how hydrated you are and whether you need to be drinking more water.
  61. A beer glass that monitors your alcohol intake to alert you before you’ve had too much to drink.
  62. Connect your keys to know where you put them.
  63. Connect your car to automatically slow down or stop if you are getting too close to the car in front of you.
  64. Connect your wallet to know how much money you have or when you spent it.
  65. Connect your Crock Pot so you can start or stop cooking while you are away.
  66. Track your pet to know when it leaves the property.
  67. Connect a diaper to know when your baby needs to be changed.
  68. Monitor your daily exercise.
  69. Connect a scale to monitor weight loss.
  70. Monitor the temperature in your wine cooler.
  71. Connect a pacifier to know when your baby has a fever but is not yet showing symptoms.
  72. Detect unexpected motion in your home and turn on a camera to monitor the situation.
  73. Alert you when and where your pipes freeze.
  74. Connect your coffee maker to your alarm clock so that you have hot, fresh coffee available first thing in the morning.
  75. Alert you when the temperature in your vacation home gets too hot or too cold so that you know there is a problem with the air conditioning or heater.
  76. Monitor the temperature of your boat engine to avoid overheating.
  77. Monitor the humidity in your cigar room.
  78. Connect a flower pot to analyze soil moisture.
  79. Turn on and off the lights in your home while you are on vacation.
  80. Turn off hot hairstyling tools after a certain amount of time or while you are away if you have forgotten.
  81. Connect athletic wear to monitor your workouts.
  82. Connect a plate to identify specific allergens of food items.
  83. Connect a food thermometer to alert you when your food is done.
  84. Recreate the fake party scene from Home Alone so that robbers don’t come in your house.
  85. Alert you when your roommate is stealing your leftovers.
  86. Alert your phone if you've left your child in the car
  87. Tell you where the items on your grocery list are in the store or if they are out of stock.
  88. Connect a shower curtain that will show the time and alert you if you are taking too long and running late for work or other appointment, party, or event on your calendar.
  89. Connect a musical instrument to track achievements and help learning.
  90. Connect a stuffed animal to respond to certain phrases or movements.
  91. Alert you to road conditions via colored sensors on the street.
  92. Help improve handwriting through a connected pen.
  93. Monitor the temperature of a frozen food aisle at the grocery store.
  94. Connect sensors in city parking lots.
  95. Alert the local police station when a gunshot is fired in a neighborhood.
  96. Connect a glass to communicate how much you have consumed.
  97. Connect a roadway to alert your car when there is traffic or hazards on the road ahead.
  98. Enhance the quality of wine and coffee by monitoring the nutrients in grapes/beans.
  99. Selectively water dry places in lawn or on a golf course.

Have any other ideas? Let us know in the comments below or tweet to us at @GridConnect.

Place Your Vote for Adam's Smart Home Panel at SxSW 2016!

Adam Justice, VP of Grid Connect and Founder of ConnectSense needs your help!

Adam, as well as a few other big players in the smart home industry, have submitted a panel proposal for for the 2016 South by Southwest® Music, Film, and Interactive Conferences (SxSW) called "A smart house divided against itself cannot stand" and needs your vote!

Please visit and give their panel proposal the "thumbs up!" Each vote gets Adam and his fellow IoT thought-leaders closer to being able to present their smart home discussion at this year's SxSW.

Voting ends Friday, September 4th! For more information and to vote now, click here!

More information...

A smart house divided against itself cannot stand

There is a significant barrier to the Internet of Things. Current products are split by competing standards on the market, creating problems for the interoperability of devices in the home. The question is... who will come out on top? HomeKit, Brillo/Weave, AllJoyn, and OIC are all bursting out with big promises. This session will dive into the differences between these standards, picking apart their individual performances apart from the marketed platform. Manufacturers are dependent upon these standards as stages for the interoperability of their products. Our group is comprised of IoT executives who understand what it’s like to work with standards on getting a product out the door.

Questions Answered

  1. Amongst standards like HomeKit, Brillo/Weave, AllJoyn, OIC and more who will come out on top and emerge as the dominant standard in the smart home?
  2. How will the elimination and consolidation of standards affect the market for IoT devices and what is still needed to drive the industry forward?
  3. What is the role of manufacturers and consumers in developing our future as it relates to connected technology?


Voting ends Friday, September 4th! For more information and to vote now, click here!

Techworld's Top 17 IoT Devices

There are myriads of devices being released for the rising IoT market. Products that cover the plane of connected technology are either on the horizon or already available for purchase. This could prove to be a bit overwhelming for the customer. A single product may have 10 nearly identical look-a-likes that supposedly do the same thing.

To fix this problem, Techworld has put together a list of the 17 best IoT gadgets for your home. Check out all of the best IoT products, including our very own ConnectSense wireless sensors here!

In case you missed it...

Yesterday Adam Justice appeared as a guest on the Peggy Smedley Show  to chat about the future of IoT. He talked about his philosophy of connected devices as well as interoperability as it relates to platforms like Apple HomeKit. In case you missed it, the interview was recorded so you can listen to it here: