Rick Merritt: A Tale of Two IoT Pioneers

Acquisitions of Echelon and Wind River aim to breathe life into these forerunners of the Internet of Things, reminding me what a long, strange road it's been so far.

Adesto’s acquisition of Echelon and Intel’s sale of Wind River to a private equity firm reminds me how little we know about how the IoT will play out.

I spoke with chief executives from both companies last week, and it was like a double-barrel blast from the past.

In 1990, Echelon was a startup, coaching us in the emerging market for home networks. We wrote stories about whether these nets would come in the form of Echelon’s proprietary powerline technology, interesting new wireless options like HomeRF promoted by Intel, or some dumbed-down version of the Ethernet just starting to take off in the office. We imagined home media servers and all sorts of consumer tech exotica.

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