Delivering on the Promise of the IoT with Dotdot + Thread // Part One

Part one of a two-part series on how Dotdot + Thread are delivering on the promise of the IoT.

Part one: Bringing the Internet’s foundational technologies to the Internet of Things.

Part two: How Dotdot + Thread breaks down the walled garden and drives value for manufacturers, platforms, and every IoT stakeholder (click here)

By: Daniel Moneta, EVP Corporate Development, MMB Networks | Marketing Workgroup Chair, Zigbee Alliance | Marketing Workgroup Contributor, Thread Group

“Technology is just stuff that doesn’t work yet.”

Douglas Adams, of Hitchhiker’s Guide Fame, wrote this borrowed piece of insight in his blog post “How to Stop Worrying and Love the Internet”. (If you haven’t read it, you absolutely should. It’s a bit dated now, but replace “Internet” with “IoT”, or really any new technology trend, and it’ll be perpetually relevant.)

Adams reminds us that while we don’t think of a chair, or a lightbulb, or a door lock as technology, at one time they were. And while we have a lot of patience for “technology”, we have remarkably less so for those things we take for granted.

A crashed app or restarting a laptop usually elicits little more than a shrug of acceptance. With the Internet of Things, however, we are doing something we’ve never done before. We’re adding technology — connectivity and “smart features” — to devices in categories that have been so reliable that we no longer think of them as technology. This is creating remarkable new opportunities for brands to engage with users, but remarkable new opportunities for frustrations. Because when these things we take for granted don’t work — when that light doesn’t come on or that door doesn’t open — it’s infuriating. And too often in today’s smart home, they don’t work.

That’s because we’ve been building the IoT in ways we know don’t work! We’ve been through all this before. The early days of the Internet looked a lot like today’s IoT: America Online, Compuserve, MSN, and others. “Walled gardens” with proprietary interfaces forced you to choose which “Internet” you would be part of. The one you picked determined what information you could access, what features you had, and who you could talk to. You were pretty much limited to whatever innovation that ecosystem vendor could provide. It was frustrating, unscalable, and innovation was slow. For anyone with a smart home platform today this should sound disappointingly familiar.

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