Sunday, November 3, 2013

Code can kill

In my original blog back in May I posited that the Internet of Things sits on 7 pillars (8 if we add investment) and here they are:


  1. Sensing and Control
  2. Connectivity
  3. Analytics (big data) and the cloud
  4. Security 
  5. Applications, ROI and 2nd/3rd order effects
  6. Standards and Regulation
  7. Ecosystems and Communities
  8. Investment Opportunities
I always knew that security was going to be a huge issue and this was before the Edward Snowden and NSA revelations but my thinking was changed this week after I read a series of articles on EETimes.com about the Toyota unintended acceleration cases that are finally getting through the court system.  My old colleague Michael Barr of the Barr Group was an expert witness in one of the cases and he pointed out how poorly written the code was in the Toyota engine control unit.  You can read the articles series here and I strongly recommend you do but for me the learning was that pillar #4 on security really should cover Security AND Safety.  My concern is that as we connect billions of devices to the web, many of those devices will be running code that was written in an earlier time when the added complexity of web access was simply not a possibility.  At ARM TechCon last week in Santa Clara I mentioned this thought to Patrick Mannion the editor of EDN.com and he thinks this could be the new Y2K problem that sneaking up on us and he may be right.  So now my 7 pillars look like this:
  1. Sensing and Control
  2. Connectivity
  3. Analytics (big data) and the cloud
  4. Security and Safety
  5. Applications, ROI and 2nd/3rd order effects
  6. Standards and Regulation
  7. Ecosystems and Communities
  8. (Investment Opportunities)
There was lots of IoT talk at TechCon last week starting with the ARM CEO Simon Segars and IoT products are popping up in every exhibitors demo plus my IoT Google alerts are going nuts so I think we have passed a tipping point and there's no going back.  Would love to hear your thoughts on the Toyota case and what it means for IoT.



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