Monday, 5 October 2015

Power Game of Internet of Things!!!


In the early 1970 we started connecting Computers, then during 2005 we connected people through social media and now devices. The objective of IOT is to reduce the people interaction and take better decisions based on the available data. The aim is to make life more comfortable. Similarly every enterprise is becoming a software company at heart and hence companies like Uber is successfully disrupting the non-software based transportation Industry. Hence in a long run all these gaps in various industries will be filled by the software innovations. Hence every industry like power, transportation, agriculture, manufacturing, healthcare etc will integrate to one common infrastructure which is the Internet. Most of the industry which we thrive on today has already got onto the internet platform. Education is online via e-learning and MOOC, E-commerce on online shopping from grocery to any utility, Healthcare from medical consultancy to surgery, Government via e-governance and so on…
Due to the beginning of the dominance of the next superpower, many institutions are trying to influence the internet world and their supporters. In this scenario, the political power game has begun of who is much stronger and who can gain a larger share of the internet world and control the digital space.
On the contrary we are also starting to witness a trend of falling monopolies – Windows dominance is disappearing as most of the desktops will be replaced by mobile phones and mobile apps which will be operated by other OS (Currently android is a clear winner). Search engines are past and might disappear soon, because Facebook, LinkedIn, Wikis will rule individual searches, the telecom towers will be replaced by Internet exchange points etc…

Windows Phone
BlackBerry OS
Source: IDC, Aug 2015

The question we need to ask is: who controls the content in the Internet? Who monitors the IOT? Hence many power centers are emerging like the ICANN vs ITU war not to forget the Darknet world. All this power game is on as North America and Europe are the 2 leading geographies for cybersecurity revenue contribution, according to many global research reports.

Now imagine when devices get connected globally which is also currently happening. This will lead to many governmental interferences leading to privacy and censorship issues when approximately 15-20 devices will be connected to every person.

Few statistics to focus on:-
1980- Cell phone subscribers: 11.2 million
1990- Cell phone subscribers: 12.5 million (0.25% of world population in 1990)
-          Internet users: 2.8 million (0.05% of world population in 1990)
2002 - Cell phone subscribers: 1.2 billion (19% of world population in 2002)
-          Internet users: 631 million (11% of world population in 2002)
2010- Cell phone subscribers: 4 billion (67% of world population in 2010)
-          Internet users: 1.8 billion (26.6% of world population in 2010)

Internet penetration today (2015) is 40% and the effort is to get the remaining 60% into the internet platform. Even though I am certain that there will be multiple standards in the IoT space, I am curious to know what will dominate IoT space where billions of devices will be connected. Because at the end of the day there has to be one universal standard like TCP IP which has to be accepted globally for communication.

In 1996, (5 billion was the human population) more than 80 percent of Internet users were native English speakers. By 2010, that percentage had dropped to 27.3 percent.(Anywhere up to 1.8 billion people around the world speak English). Just to bring a different comparison, it will be interesting to know which language as well as protocol standard will rule the internet (just like the dominance of English Language in the world). Currently many protocols such as NFC, BLE, Cellular (3G/4G), Zig-bee, Wi-Fi, 6LowPAN, Z-wave etc exists for IOT connectivity. Some are also industry specific protocols and standards and some are driven by big enterprises who command due to early entry into the IOT space. Also few unique startups in the IOT space which will disrupt the industry in few years!

I feel, One infrastructure – internet means only and only one standard protocol. Like IP version4/6 has standardized the communication there has to be one standard of communication for IOT.
Today if I have to make a directory…I am not sure if everybody would like to list their names and phone numbers in a public forum….Reason is TRUST DEFICIT! There is a trust issue and hence people are moving towards other alternatives like darknet and hence to a safer place. I strongly feel this trust issue will change over a period of time. This will evolve and become the trusted and more convenient system like banking system. (Like the more convenient browsing because of HTML 5).When banking system was introduced 400 yrs ago it also had trust issues. Nobody would go and deposit their hard earned money with someone. But it has evolved over a period of time and people started trusting the banking system and has come out of this initial distrust of depositing money with someone to taking money anytime anywhere. My second guess is that this will happen to data sharing in the internet as well. There will be a time when people will no longer worry about their data as it will be safe and secure in the hands of the housekeeper like the money in the Bank. They will worry more about other valuable investments of growing their knowledge and becoming wiser and this gain would be their interest as compared to the one that banking system provides!

While I say that monopolies in the OS and web search world are diminishing, the standardization protocols in the IOT space are increasing. However these protocols have to be standardized so that the devices communicate anywhere in the world seamlessly.Just like the conductor provides a direction to the orchestra there has to be a direction by a universal framework or a standard.

It will be interesting to see which power centre controls the IOT standards in the coming future which is not at all far away! Also while we make devices interact with each other we should not forget the fact that human touch is far more powerful than machines and both need to coexist for better life!
There are many cases in the organized cybercrime industry which caters to frauds. Now imagine IOT frauds from various disparate systems. Way too Complex to handle! Hence there has to be one unified standard to handle the chaos! Keeping in mind the chances of getting filter bubbled by some big institutions…

Deric Karunesudas


  1. Good article. Darknet ... Interesting

  2. Nice article. Its true that many operations are getting automated. This brings not only better way of living but altogether a new life style..The day is not far when internet would be counted as basic need like food, shelter and cloths

    1. Agreed prashant...its automation era...bots and AI will make life more simpler and fun!

  3. Hello,
    The Article on Power Game of Internet of Things is nice. It give amazing information about Internet of Things. Thanks for sharing the information. internet of things services

    1. Thank you for the comment. I will be writing more articles on IOT and Blockchain soon...linking IOT and blockchain which is the future is something that's freaking me out!!!