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Bench Talk for Design Engineers

Bench Talk


Bench Talk for Design Engineers | The Official Blog of Mouser Electronics

The Internet of Naming Things Warren Miller

One of the interesting things, at least to me, about the Internet of Things (IoT) is that every ‘thing’ will have its own address. You might be able to communicate with each of these things by just referencing its address. More complicated things might even have their own email address. You could be able to send messages to your coffee pot, your thermostat and your door lock just as you would send an email to a friend or family member. Even more mind boggling is the idea that your thermostat might send an email to your coffee pot. If your thermostat ‘knows’ that you usually get up and get your coffee right after you turn up the thermostat to heat your home, it can alert the coffee pot to get going on that first cup of coffee.


With hundreds of IoT devices in our home and car, naming things can become complicated. You don't want to use the raw IP address as the name. You might end up telling the washing machine to make the coffee in the morning. Not an ideal scenario. You also don't want to use the default settings that come from the manufacturer. One of the easiest ways to be hacked is to use default passwords. You might be surprised how many foreign embassies used the default settings on their encryption systems when they first came out. And you can guess who exploited this fact for many years.


So how are you going to name all your devices when the IoT is in full swing? My guess is each of us will need to create a personality profile that helps automatically name the things in our IoT space. Are you a sports fan? Maybe the name your profile will suggest for your coffee maker will be Derek Jeter. Are you a science fiction fan? Maybe the first suggestion for your refrigerator will be Ice Planet Hoth (or just Hoth for short). I’m hoping something will come along and help me with all this complexity. And don't even get me started on all the passwords we will need.

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Warren Miller is a contributing author at Mouser Electronics with over 30 years of experience in the electronics industry. He has had roles in product planning, applications, marketing and management for large established companies as well as startups. Currently he is President of Wavefront Marketing, a consultancy serving semiconductor, tools and intellectual property companies.

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