American Marketer


Debate over Internet of Things vs. Internet of Everything

January 23, 2014

Gary Schwartz is president/CEO of Impact Mobile



By Gary Schwartz

When Cisco CEO John Chambers took the stage at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this month and announced that there was a difference between the Internet of Things (IOT) and the Internet of Everything (IOE), many cried “semantics.”

But there is a difference and one that ripped across the United States to the National Retail Federation (NRF) Big Show at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York this past week.

IOT, according to Mr. Chambers, is made up of billions of connected objects. However, IOE is the smart networks that are required to support all the data these objects generate and transmit.

What will help move the IOT into the IOE and drive what Mr. Chambers predicts to be $19 trillion in new revenue by 2020?

IOE requires a universal solution to tie the billions of sensor data into an intelligent device and system agnostic solution.

To our detriment, we are so focused on the idea of a hardware (IOT) solving all our problems that we neglected that simple insight that all these hardware solutions require a method of managing the people and service behind them.

The industry needs a wireless domain (DNS) naming solution that can provide profile, tools and privacy controls to enterprise and the consumer.

When I was invited to sit on a panel at the launch of the new wireless registry, I realized that this registry could be the silver-bullet platform.

50 billion things

When Cisco, Qualcomm, IBM and others set up shop at NRF to talk retail, the IOT versus IOE discussion continued.

Brand agencies such as Ogilvy were pitching a solution using Qualcomm’s wireless Gimbel platform to solve retail engagement in the store.

Qualcomm’s Gimbel platform is essentially an IOE riding on Apple’s IOT’s iBeacons.

Mobile location analytics (MLAs) companies that collect consumer behavioral analytics are a Big Data IOE play riding on the IOT emitting from the phone’s Wi-Fi signal?

There are a proliferation of IOE solutions using different technology that require considerable CAPEX and resources.

There are currently an estimated 10 billion sensors globally. This is predicted to grow to 50 billion sensors by 2020. Imagine the wireless noise we can anticipate as we move from city to city, street to street, aisle to aisle.

There are barriers everywhere:

▪ On the consumer side we have option paralysis but more importantly simple human inertia

▪ On the retailer and brand side, we have incumbent investments and IT budgets to navigate

▪ On top of all this stasis, we have the DC beltway privacy folk crying “do-not-track”

How will the consumer navigate this noise? How will the retailer, brand and entertainment provider select from the exploding list of vendors selling various solutions using LTE identification, WiFi MAC identification, Bluetooth MAC and IMEI.

My wireless name

The phone in 2014 is becoming less of a Cracker Jack container that acts as a repository of millions of sundry apps, and more of an intelligent device that performs as a server that can manage our world through smart profiling and APIs.

Think about it. We have been hoodwinked by the original equipment manufacturers to believe that an application store tethered to a phone can deliver any service, entertainment and widget.

The app store was a marketplace to the world: clocks, measuring tapes, cash registers, coupon dispensers, shopping lists, ad infinitum.

Google’s acquisition of Nest is good example of the changing landscape where the app will live in the IOT and the device will simply be the profile and the auto-controller.

A service such as the Wireless Registry can offer a naming protocol that can work agnostically with all the in-market sensor solutions and offer a central repository for a retailer, brand and entertainment provider’s identity.

Any existing wireless signal that a coffee shop or a big-box retailer transmits can now have a name (Starbucks, Gap and Walmart) with an accompanying sophisticated profile. A consumer who has a phone, tablet and PC can now attach a personal name and profile to these SSIDs.

When the retail and consumer wireless signals bump in the proximal world, the consumer profile can do a simple look-up to see what offers, services and commerce is available to them based on their specific identity.

The consumer can also block unwanted solicitation, answering Jules Polonetsky and the Privacy Commission’s concerns around “do-not-track.”

Now the consumer is in full control of their identity and the phone becomes an intelligent server interacting with the world of wireless signals based on that consumer’s preferences.

While this solution can interface with existing apps on the phone, ultimately the profile and preferences can be baked into the operating system as part of the devices DNA.

Until later. Yours truly from my SSID aka “MOBILEGUY.”

Gary Schwartz is president/CEO of Impact Mobile, Toronto. Reach him at