What’s in a name?
Not much — if you’re referring to the Internet of Things, said Benny Placido, business development director for Edinburgh, Scotland-based Bluemungus, an app and Web developer.
“I’ve been around the industry a long time, and these phrases become meaningless after a while,” Placido said. “The concept behind the Internet of Things isn’t bad. But when I first heard the name, it made me laugh. I thought, ‘What the hell is the Internet of Things?’”
So what’s in this name, we ask? Internet of Things. IoT. Cisco even deemed it the Internet of Everything.
Workable? Another tiring buzzword that will just cause confusion and eventually slip away? We know Google’s answer. It put up $3.2 billion toward it this week.
MIT Lab Founder: Necessary Evil
How does the creator of the phrase feel? We tried Kevin Ashton, first credited with coming up with the Internet of Things. He was a tad busy this week, his assistant, Paige Russell, told us.
We did, however, pick the brain of Sanjay Sarma, professor of mechanical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and co-chair of the MIT Auto-ID Labs, part of a network of academic research labs that develop new technologies for global commerce.
In the late 1990s, Sarma and Ashton helped create those labs out of MIT, and 15 years later, the labs run the Internet of Things Conference coming this October on MIT’s home turf in Cambridge, Mass.
Admitting that names expand and lose meaning over time, Sarma stressed the IoT phrase is hot.
“And you need to give it a name,” he told CMSWire. “Names are a necessary evil. But a name doesn’t solve a problem. You still need a vision of what you’re going to do and what you’re not going to do.”
So what is it NOT? Even Sarma said there is a struggle to fully understand IoT.
“What does it mean? What does it not?” said Sarma. He surmised IoT this way: “Just a way to explain connecting inanimate objects to the Internet.”
How About ‘The Internet’
To that point, however, Placido suggested calling the phenomenon of connected devices the “Internet.”
Is there really a need, he said, to change things up with the addition of “of things” to the moniker?