The Internet of Things (IoT), put simply, is a way to infuse computing power into the world around us. But Ron Evans, an IoT developer, sees it a little differently.
The Internet of Things, said Evans (the self-described “ringleader” at California-based boutique consultancy The Hybrid Group), “is about closing the last meter between customers and businesses.”

SD Times had a chance to ask Evans—who’s been working on robotics and open-source hardware since about 2008 and is an Intel Software Innovator—about the connected world, its potential impact on improving quality of life, and the hardware and software that will power that world.

(Related: Intel wows with future tech)

SD Times: What do you see as the biggest value IoT can bring to enterprise organizations?
Evans: We call them “hardware-enabled services.” Smart companies, like Intel, realize IoT is about more than gadgets; it’s about providing better services, and even providing entirely new services, such as offering “clickstream data” for consumer interactions in the real world.

Where are these systems-on-chip, which power IoT, being deployed now? And what does the future hold for them?

Embedded devices are traditionally used in the industrial space. But, while most automatically think of assembly lines, HVAC and security systems and other parts of the supply chain are just as interesting and applicable, if not more so. Telematics is also one of the most active connected device spaces, and yet people don’t usually consider that area when they think of IoT.

Connected device development has been the redheaded stepchild of technology for a long time, even though computing ultimately runs on all these embedded devices. They’ve been viewed as a black magic box of sorts. This is part of what we’re trying to overcome and change to make this technology a lot more accessible.

In what way are you trying to make IoT systems more accessible?
By using open-source software as the foundation for embedded devices, it makes it possible to use well-established software development and updated mechanisms. These are just two of the many benefits of regular security updates, and they provide users with more opportunity to customize their own equipment.

About David Rubinstein

David Rubinstein is editor-in-chief of SD Times.