Internet of Things Notes

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Here are some random notes by Tim Bird about the Internet of Things:


  1. security
    1. privacy (prevention of revealing personal data - like when you are home)
    2. prevention of malicious tampering
  2. addressability/routing
  3. bandwidth
  4. data storage scalability
  5. cost - millions of units need low BOM (e.g, 10 cents)
  6. system size (RAM should be internal to avoid separate DRAM price)
  7. power requirement - unwired sensors need small power requirements
  8. product lifespan (or, upgradeability)

network configurations

  • 1) each node directly addressable from full internet
  • 2) nodes are accessible only via a gateway device
    • gateway can provide security?

How to categorize device accessible on PAN, BAN or home area network, where mobile device puts data in cloud.

Stages of IOT deployment

(Based on Rose)

1) personification of dumb objects

Objects become a proxy for a user (e.g. smartphone becomes your keys for wireless unlocking and garage-door opening)

2) Partially Autonomous Sensor Networks

e.g. smart fridge knows expiration date, and sends alerts or auto-creates a grocery list

3) Autonomous Independent Devices

e.g. smart fridge orders food autonomously

Major problem areas

communications interoperability


Linux size

Linux needs to be smaller to be in used at the leaves of sensor networks.

Existing IOT systems

  • Solar panels on Tim's house - reports and notifications on internet, read-only
    • has hub in home, with power-line networking from inverter to hub, then using home network from hub to internet
    • there are no privacy issues - power does not fluctuate based on personal info
  • smart meters on Tim's house - reports on internet, read-only, not sure how data is transmitted to PG&E
    • there are privacy issues - power usage reflects home occupancy and activity patterns
    • there may be security issues - not sure if meter can be manipulated (written to) over network


Here's a good interview with Philip DesAutels about some IOT issues:

IOT resources

Dedicated conferences

Trade Groups


  • Zigbee, 6lopan, thread, BLE, Z-wave

Here is a blog comment I saw:

  • MQTT (Message Queuing Telemetry Transport)

“The MQTT protocol enables a publish/subscribe messaging model in an extremely lightweight way. It is useful for connections with remote locations where a small code footprint is required and/or network bandwidth is at a premium.”

  • CoAP (Constrained Application Protocol)

“CoAP is an application layer protocol that is intended for use in resource-constrained internet devices, such as WSN nodes. CoAP is designed to easily translate to HTTP for simplified integration with the web, while also meeting specialized requirements such as multicast support, very low overhead, and simplicity. The CoRE group has proposed the following features for CoAP: RESTful protocol design minimizing the complexity of mapping with HTTP, Low header overhead and parsing complexity, URI and content-type support, Support for the discovery of resources provided by known CoAP services. Simple subscription for a resource, and resulting push notifications, Simple caching based on max-age.”

  • XMPP (Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol)

“An open technology for real-time communication, which powers a wide range of applications including instant messaging, presence, multi-party chat, voice and video calls, collaboration, lightweight middleware, content syndication, and generalized routing of XML data.”

  • 6LoWPAN

“6LoWPAN is a acronym of IPv6 over Low power Wireless Personal Area Networks. It is an adaption layer for IPv6 over IEEE802.15.4 links. This protocol operates only in the 2.4 GHz frequency range with 250 kbps transfer rate.”

  • AllSeen Alliance (AllJoyn)

“The AllSeen Alliance is a nonprofit consortium dedicated to enabling and driving the widespread adoption of products, systems and services that support the Internet of Everything with an open, universal development framework supported by a vibrant ecosystem and thriving technical community’

– Source:


* Afero - See
  - secure bluetooth module (hardware to be built into other things, puts stuff in afero's cloud)