The Internet of Things

The Internet of Things is upon us. I’ve heard this term quite a bit recently, and certainly there’s been no shortage of new hardware items that are being onnected to the Internet. The last ten years have seen all sorts of products get IP addresses: mobile phones and cars, along with washing machines and refrigerators. Some have been silly attempts to make a connection to the Internet without a practical problem being solved, but some have been very interesting.

However I think we will truly start to see more and more devices created in the next decade. The advent of cheap hardware (Raspberry Pis and Arduinos as two examples) and the ability to construct new cases and programs (with 3D printing) will lead to many individuals, as well as companies, starting to build their own devices to capture data as sensors, or perform small tasks that we find handy.

Should we care? Yes. Many of these items will produce logs or other status information. Much of this data will be stored in databases. Perhaps in relational platforms like SQL Server, perhaps sampled and queried as a stream with much of the data discarded (using StreamInsight and SQL Server), perhaps stored in some NoSQL type platform (HDInsight/Hadoop, anyone?). For many of us that means more data to manage, new information to develop software against, new patterns to discover with creative queries.

It should also mean more work, probably more employment, and hopefully, more money.

Steve Jones


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