Making Everything "Smart"

Phillip J. Windley, Ph.D.
Founder & Chief Technology Officer

June 2012

Executive Summary

Smart devices promise to change how we interact with every thing around us. For years, we’ve lived with a vision of a future world where every thing is connected and online. Devices like the iPhone have given us a glimpse of the vast possibilities of always being online. Pundits tout the advantages of the Internet of Things, when everything is connected.

But putting computers in everything and connecting them will take time, at best, and may be prohibitively expensive in many situations. No matter how cheap computers get or how ubiquitous connectivity becomes, there will always be something that doesn’t justify the expense. Consequently, we’ll always be waiting for something to become smart.

The answer to this dilemma is to use virtual computers—personal clouds—to serve as proxies for many of the things we want to be smart. Personal clouds are cloud-based virtual computers that are so inexpensive to deploy that we can create an unlimited number of them. And yet, personal clouds provide powerful, sophisticated programming and data models, making them more than a match for the task of making everything smart.

By using personal clouds to make things smart, we can connect every thing now—and skip the waiting. Making things smart with personal clouds is cheap. So we can connect anything, right now—no matter how insignificant. We can even connect things manufactured years ago. And as devices get smarter, their sensors and on-board computers will work with personal clouds to provide even greater utility. Personal clouds are a way to bridge both smart and not-so-smart devices and bring everything onto the Internet of Things today.

SquareTag uses personal clouds to put everything online, making them active participants in the Internet of Things This white paper shows why making every thing smart is a good idea, how personal clouds make that possible, and presents SquareTag as way to achieve this goal.

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This whitepaper is part of the Live Web series. The Live Web Series sets forth a vision for the future of the Internet and our interactions on it.

Last Modified: Tuesday, 26-Jun-2012 19:35:38 UTC