The age of the Internet of Things is upon us

It's Just a DB and an API

These databases provide surprisingly little. They are scalable databases wrapped in a UI and an API. Why not just spin your own?

I suspect that a number of companies will do just that, combining technologies such as Rails and the lessons of Twitter with a little bit of back-end, high-scale database magic from AWS or another Cloud DB provider. This combination is enough to get you to the same level and could be hacked together quite quickly, so what is the appeal of any of these IoT platforms?

I'm working on an IoT product at the moment, and the key is time to market. The technologies have all matured around the same time, and consumers are more open to what they can provide. Getting our product out there matters, and if that means saving a few weeks here and there by using a platform to bootstrap ourselves to market, that's what we're going to do.

However, although the underlying technologies are mature, the product market is not mature. We are still learning how to fit this into peoples' lives and into existing businesses. Expect rapid development of such platforms as features such as security are improved.

A major feature I cannot see is control of security of many thousands of devices. The single access key won't work, and provisioning access keys could be too labor intensive. This dilemma has a huge implication for firms as they work out how they're going to provision a dizzying number of devices over the coming years.

Both platforms I've reviewed here feel very much to be in the early stages, missing features you would think are obvious. However, that's the point with the market in its current state. If you tried early versions of RightScale and other management platforms, the situation will be familiar. I expect rapid changes, because the underlying technologies are so mature, allowing the truly useful use cases to be addressed quickly.

This IoT is coming your way, and if you thought cloud computing introduced an impressive volume of data and computing power, just wait for The Things.

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