Without interoperability, the future of Smart technology will be limited

November 18, 2021

Smart and IoT initiatives will soon hopefully provide businesses, governments and cities alike with the power and opportunity to improve the everyday lives of people. Backed by technology which is now more interconnected than ever, these advances aim to revolutionise transport, healthcare, delivery and even how we live in our homes.

However, it is apparent that there is a major roadblock to this progress in our quality of life: data interoperability.

Smart technology currently operates on the understanding that devices can communicate with each other to work; for example, a Smart City initiative aiming to improve traffic and pollution must capture relevant data and send it to a central hub for to be analysed and acted upon. Or, to safely manage connected and autonomous vehicles, there must be a device within the vehicle that can communicate securely with an infrastructure device. And, the devices that are speaking to each other may serve different functionalities, leading to inherently different communication protocols.

It is increasingly clear that Smart technology can not be constructed or implemented in a vacuum. Not only will these solutions be multifaceted, as the problems Smart technology is aiming to solve often are, without interoperability standards, emerging solutions will be limited by both communications protocols and potentially geography.

That’s why global standards initiatives, such as oneM2M, are so important to develop and follow at this stage of growth in Smart and IoT technology. Solutions developed in one area will then be transferable and scalable to other use cases and geographical locations.

Smart and IoT technology is not going anywhere, but to fully capitalise on its benefits, we need to ensure that these solutions can operate seamlessly and deliver the full potential of these emerging solutions.

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