SHARE



ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Dave Michels
Dave Michels is a Principal Analyst at TalkingPointz. His unique perspective on unified communications comes from a career involving telecommunications...
Read Full Bio >>
SHARE



Dave Michels | July 21, 2011 |

 
   

The Return of the Internet Toaster

The Return of the Internet Toaster The "Internet of Things" is coming--is the U.S. ready with its IPv6 transition?

The "Internet of Things" is coming--is the U.S. ready with its IPv6 transition?

In the Interop conference's early days, John Romkey was provoked into demonstrating a connected toaster. The Sunbeam Deluxe Radiant Controlled toaster was modified for SNMP control over a TCP/IP network. Two pervasive technologies combined into one device. Despite the fanfare, neither Sunbeam nor its competitors ever brought an IP enabled toaster to market. Perhaps they felt IP was just a temporary fad, or maybe they were concerned about the lack of connectivity in most kitchens.

Or maybe it was because it offered no value. The SNMP control only enabled the toaster to be turned on. Insertion of the bread, and pushing-down the plunger required human intervention.

The toaster was really only meant to demonstrate the potential ubiquity of IP and the potential of SNMP. I remember the toaster well. It was impressive and fun, but also the source of ridicule. The connected toaster was for technology's sake, it didn't improve the quality of the toast or reduce the human effort. Unfairly it became the butt of every technology-gone-awry joke--not to mention the dot.com bust (2000) and the limitations of SNMP v1.

Well, it is back. Not because anyone wants it, but because we can, we have the bandwidth, the addresses (with IPv6), and the wherewithal to connect everything. We can rebuild the toaster, and make it faster, better, stronger than before (and for a lot less than $6 million).

Cisco believes the Internet is going to explode with new devices, and that seems like a reasonable bet. Cisco put together the Infographic below to illustrate the point. There is no question the Internet is growing and will continue to grow. Cisco (and Ericsson) predict that there will be 50 billion things on the Internet by 2020.

What types of things? First off, it's more of the same. Most of us expanded our arsenal of connected devices over the past few years. Perhaps from a single desktop/laptop computer to a smartphone, tablet, perhaps an e-book reader and game console. Some connected devices are transitioned from older technology, such as my television remote control that uses wi-fi instead of IR, and my DVR that I can access from my smartphone. But the biggest category represents things that we never considered connecting before such as cars, vending machines, and toasters.

I remember hearing Scott McNealy around 2000, then CEO of Sun (then tagline: the network is the computer) speak, and he pointed to the lights and said something like every light fixture should be addressable and should report when a bulb needs replacement. That idea had potential, particularly traffic lights, as their failures cause accidents. The problem was reality. The notion of running a network drop to every fixture was ridiculous as was the notion of replacing each dumb fixture with a smarter one.

Cisco's infographic illustrates the benefits of the connected cow. I used to work for a company that used electronic tags on cows to monitor their feed. The sensor technology made sure each cow got just enough feed--not too much. That company found it was more profitable to track cons, and became a leader in home arrest bracelets and monitoring. But cows or cons are more likely to be on private nets than be on the Internet.

Thanks to Network Address Translation (NAT), not everything needs a unique IP address. And thanks to various forms of gateways and private networks, not everything needs to be IP either. Toward the bottom of the infographic is the obligatory IPv6. Obligatory because 50 billion devices would not be possible without it. IPv4 worked wonderfully for decades, but the jig is up and new addresses are gone. No one wants to be accused of being short sighted, so the new model supports a much larger range.





COMMENTS



Enterprise Connect Orlando 2018
March 12-15 | Orlando, FL

Connect with the Entire Enterprise Communications & Collaboration Ecosystem


Stay Up-to-Date: Hear industry visionaries in Keynotes and General Sessions delivering the latest insight on UC, mobility, collaboration and cloud

Grow Your Network: Connect with the largest gathering of enterprise IT and business leaders and influencers

Learn From Industry Leaders: Attend a full range of Conference Sessions, Free Programs and Special Events

Evaluate All Your Options: Engage with 190+ of the leading equipment, software and service providers

Have Fun! Mingle with sponsors, exhibitors, attendees, guest speakers and industry players during evening receptions

Register now with code NOJITTEREB to save $200 Off Advance Rates or get a FREE Expo Pass!

November 1, 2017

Your customers (internal and external) demand that you offer them the ability to connect by any means. With the adoption of cloud communications tools you now have access to an expanded portfolio o

October 18, 2017

Microsofts recent Ignite event had some critically important announcements for enterprise communications. Namely, Microsofts new Team Collaboration offering, Teams, will be its primary communicatio

September 20, 2017

Customer experience can make or break your business. But how do you achieve outstanding customer service when you're dealing with outdated organizational structure, lagging technology, dated proces

October 23, 2017
Wondering which Office 365 collaboration tool to use when? Get quick pointers from CBT Nuggets instructor Simona Millham.
September 22, 2017
In this podcast, we explore the future of work with Robert Brown, AVP of the Cognizant Center for the Future of Work, who helps us answer the question, "What do we do when machines do everything?"
September 8, 2017
Greg Collins, a technology analyst and strategist with Exact Ventures, delivers a status report on 5G implementation plans and tells enterprises why they shouldn't wait to move ahead on potential use ....
August 25, 2017
Find out what business considerations are driving the SIP trunking market today, and learn a bit about how satisfied enterprises are with their providers. We talk with John Malone, president of The Ea....
August 16, 2017
World Vision U.S. is finding lots of goodness in RingCentral's cloud communications service, but as Randy Boyd, infrastructure architect at the global humanitarian nonprofit, tells us, he and his team....
August 11, 2017
Alicia Gee, director of unified communications at Sutter Physician Services, oversees the technical team supporting a 1,000-agent contact center running on Genesys PureConnect. She catches us up on th....
August 4, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, has lately been working on integrating enterprise communications into Internet of Things ecosystems. He shares examples and off....
July 27, 2017
Industry watcher Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares her perspective on this acquisition, discussing Mitel's market positioning, why the move makes sense, and more.
July 14, 2017
Lantre Barr, founder and CEO of Blacc Spot Media, urges any enterprise that's been on the fence about integrating real-time communications into business workflows to jump off and get started. Tune and....
June 28, 2017
Communications expert Tsahi Levent-Levi, author of the popular BlogGeek.me blog, keeps a running tally and comprehensive overview of communications platform-as-a-service offerings in his "Choosing a W....
June 9, 2017
If you think telecom expense management applies to nothing more than business phone lines, think again. Hyoun Park, founder and principal investigator with technology advisory Amalgam Insights, tells ....
June 2, 2017
Enterprises strategizing on mobility today, including for internal collaboration, don't have the luxury of learning as they go. Tony Rizzo, enterprise mobility specialist with Blue Hill Research, expl....
May 24, 2017
Mark Winther, head of IDC's global telecom consulting practice, gives us his take on how CPaaS providers evolve beyond the basic building blocks and address maturing enterprise needs.
May 18, 2017
Diane Myers, senior research director at IHS Markit, walks us through her 2017 UC-as-a-service report... and shares what might be to come in 2018.
April 28, 2017
Change isn't easy, but it is necessary. Tune in for advice and perspective from Zeus Kerravala, co-author of a "Digital Transformation for Dummies" special edition.
April 20, 2017
Robin Gareiss, president of Nemertes Research, shares insight gleaned from the firm's 12th annual UCC Total Cost of Operations study.
March 23, 2017
Tim Banting, of Current Analysis, gives us a peek into what the next three years will bring in advance of his Enterprise Connect session exploring the question: Will there be a new model for enterpris....
March 15, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, discusses the evolving role of the all-important session border controller.
March 9, 2017
Organizer Alan Quayle gives us the lowdown on programmable communications and all you need to know about participating in this pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon.
March 3, 2017
From protecting against new vulnerabilities to keeping security assessments up to date, security consultant Mark Collier shares tips on how best to protect your UC systems.
February 24, 2017
UC analyst Blair Pleasant sorts through the myriad cloud architectural models underlying UCaaS and CCaaS offerings, and explains why knowing the differences matter.
February 17, 2017
From the most basics of basics to the hidden gotchas, UC consultant Melissa Swartz helps demystify the complex world of SIP trunking.
February 7, 2017
UC&C consultant Kevin Kieller, a partner at enableUC, shares pointers for making the right architectural choices for your Skype for Business deployment.
February 1, 2017
Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares a status report on the UCaaS market today and offers her perspective on what large enterprises need before committing to UC in the cloud.
January 26, 2017
Andrew Davis, co-founder of Wainhouse Research and chair of the Video track at Enterprise Connect 2017, sorts through the myriad cloud video service options and shares how to tell if your choice is en....
January 23, 2017
Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center/Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2017, tells us what we need to know about the role cloud software is playing in contact centers today.