Chetan Sharma: Correcting the IoT History

In the last 5 years, IoT has entered the industry consciousness. There are varying forecasts calling for tremendous growth and revenue generation opportunities. We have argued IoT as part of the Connected Intelligence Evolution and have published a couple of papers on this topic of ongoing research. Last year, we delved into the history of IoT. Before it was fashionable to say IoT, it was M2M, and before that Telemetry and Telemetric systems.

During our research last year, we came across something that our industry and the media got wrong – the origination of the term “Internet of Things” or “IoT.” The current thinking is that the term first originated at the Auto-ID center at MIT around 1999.


...The full speech is published with permission in this note and as you will see, his vision was spot on – 30 years ago. Peter was uniquely positioned to understand the confluence of machines, wireless, Internet, applications because he had been exposed to them from different angles by then.

By connecting devices such as traffic signal control boxes, underground gas station tanks and home refrigerators to supervisory control systems, modems, auto-dialers and cellular phones, we can transmit status of these devices to cell sites, then pipe that data through the Internet and address it to people near and far that need that information.  I predict that not only humans, but machines and other things will interactively communicate via the Internet.  The Internet of Things, or IoT, is the integration of people, processes and technology with connectable devices and sensors to enable remote monitoring, status, manipulation and evaluation of trends of such devices.  When all these technologies and voluminous amounts of Things are interfaced together -- namely, devices/machines, supervisory controllers, cellular and the Internet, there is nothing we cannot connect to and communicate with.  What I am calling the Internet of Things will be far reaching.