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Q&A with Aravindan Anandan, Barracuda Networks: Getting to know IoT

Nurdianah Md Nur | Jan. 30, 2014
Aravindan Anandan, consulting systems engineer for Barracuda Networks, talks about the IoT and the issues surrounding it.

Aravindan Anandan of Barracuda Networks
Aravindan Anandan, consulting systems engineer for Barracuda Networks.

At this year's CES (Consumer Electronic Show), LG and Samsung proudly showcased their version of smart homes. While LG's HomeChat system enables the refrigerator to text its owner when the food is a day from spoiling, Samsung's Smart Home service enables users to control their lights and air-conditioner via their smartphones. Do all these systems/technologies signal a plausible wide adoption of the Internet of Things (IoT) in future?  Aravindan Anandan, consulting systems engineer for Barracuda Networks, talks about IoT and the issues surrounding it.

We've heard the term IoT a lot last year and at this year's CES (Consumer Electronics Show) but what does it mean?
There are many electronic appliances in the market today but they need to be individually managed. The IoT aims to change that by enabling the integration of all these appliances to better suit the customer's needs.

As a concept, the IoT has been widely discussed. Manufacturers are gradually conceptualising it but the technology required for it is still lagging. However, I believe that the technology driving IoT will catch up to the idea in the next two or three years.

Could you elaborate on the kind of technology that needs to mature or be developed for IoT to take off?
For one, the Internet, which will be the basis of IoT, is still based on a primitive protocol. There are pockets of Internet organisations that are working on concepts such as IPv6, which will be the protocol that will be used when IoT takes off. However, the low adoption rate of it among the enterprises and telcos shows that not everyone is convinced and satisfied with what IPv6 has to offer. I believe that once IPv6 migration grows, we'll be able to see more development in the IoT space.

Will smartphones play a greater role in controlling smart devices as the IoT takes off?
The overall goal of the IoT or smart appliances is to enhance the user experience. The smartphone will enable this as it provides the human touch in the whole process; even though the devices are all interconnected, decisions must still be made by the users.

What is the adoption rate of the IoT like in Asia today?
Certain parts of Asia are supportive of the idea of IoT. For instance, the Singapore government is working with organisations in an effort to be a smart nation, in which all parts of the republic will be connected to one another. It has also provided the building blocks for IoT with the availability of a sensor fabric network, where applications could be written upon and data could be gathered. Besides that, it has rolled out the nationwide fibre network, and taken legislative steps over data privacy.


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