Jeremy Hitchcock

IoT Depends on Internet

Here's a story about the light bulb and the electric grid that is worth telling.  The 1800s witnessed John Swan and Thomas Edison developing the electric candle.  Edison, understanding its commercial applications, patented the technology.  

He realized that for the light bulb to be successful, ubiquitous electricity needs to be present.  At that point, Edison dedicated himself to the development of power distribution and built the Pearl Street Station in New York City.

Over the next several decades, power distribution became less of a novelty and more a foundation of modern life.  In terms of lighting, you don't think about a light switch in a room.  It just works.  And now we have countless things that consume power in the home - washing machines, entertainment, car chargers, etc.  Many categories that were inconceivable when Edison developed his light bulb have become a reality.

The Internet has been on a similar trajectory.  We started in the early ARPANET days - several computers on the same network.  We have moved from dial-up - online for specific uses periodically during the day - to always-connected high-speed Internet.  Now homes are transitioning to complete wireless Internet distribution inside the house. Internet service providers are looking for ways to provide secure and reliable internet to IoT devices. It is opening up new opportunities.

For electricity, the light bulb was the "killer app" that drove the electric grid.  Similarly, the explosion of Wi-Fi was originally driven by the demand for wireless connectivity to laptops. For IoT, bandwidth-hungry applications like video are the killer apps.  We're able to stream a movie to a TV and have an omnipresent camera watching our front door. Consumers are moving fast adding more IoT devices on their home networks.

With a solid foundation of ubiquitous Internet, countless applications are popping up.  It is not just computers and cameras but IoT door locks, IoT speakers/audio, IoT Star Wars droids, IoT thermostats, IoT voice assistants, IoT gaming consoles, IoT teddy bears, and IoT dog feeders.

The network in the home is critical infrastructure and it's part of the world's most important communication system.  Service providers know that the quality of the home network and Wi-Fi is synonymous with the quality of the broadband product in their customers’ eyes.  Just as electricity increasingly became integral to lives in the first half of the 20th century beyond the light bulb, the internet is increasingly becoming integral to our lives today in ways that go beyond the first applications.  Soon, internet outages may mean something very similar to power outages.   

For this reason, home network support providers need innovative tools to monitor, manage and secure the home network. Minim was founded to do just that. We provide tools to care-providers to eliminate complexity and bring simplicity to managing and securing home networks.  We address the challenges of today and position our customers to support the challenges of the future.