As you well know, the Internet of Things (IoT) has been garnering interest more and more in the past few years. Its capabilities for changing the world are astounding and can be used everywhere from space travel to production to consumer goods. One of the biggest developments recently sits on the line between amazing and mundane — lights. That’s right, your common household light bulbs and fixtures.
What’s so great about lights?
Well, it’s less about the lights themselves and more about the collaboration a large group of companies have created. A huge problem with many IoT-enabled consumer devices is that getting them to talk to each other doesn’t always work. Tech created by different companies sometimes won’t be able to send or interpret data through each other and so you’re stuck with just a run-of-the-mill toaster. Thanks to the IoT-Ready Alliance, the vast majority of LED light fixtures won’t have that problem.
What’s the IoT-Ready Alliance?
The IoT-Ready Alliance is a group of over a dozen top LED-producing companies working together to create a common standard for IoT-enabled lighting. In other words, they’re working to keep the above problem at bay… for lights anyway.
What makes this alliance amazing is that it’s a rarity, yet something that needs to be much more common quickly. Without industry standards for IoT devices, one of two things will happen. Either the majority of devices will be delayed, buggy, or simply unable to communicate, or a single powerhouse company will come out on top with much of the world’s consumer-based IoT devices produced there.
The sooner more companies realise that alliances between each other help both them and their consumers, the quicker the Internet of Things will evolve. The IoT-Ready Alliance is currently working to standardise the key interface characteristics of LED fixtures, including integrated and external sensors and will include necessary interfacing options for other companies wanting to make the LED fixtures as well.
This isn’t the first alliance to be made, though.
Z-Wave, AIOTI, and the IoT Cybersecurity Alliance are all working similarly to the IoT-Ready Alliance to create industry standards and develop stable systems. The largest of these, Z-Wave, already has over 2,000 products available and has sold over 70 million worldwide.
Lights and common household products are all well and good on their own, but the biggest advancement I hope to see in the future is for cars. While it might be difficult, we could very well live in a world where cars drive themselves whilst talking to each other, knowing where nearby drivers are going so as to avoid accidents.