IBM MessageSight Makes Strides Towards The Internet Of Things
April 30, 2013

With IBM MessageSight, ‘The Internet Of Things’ Gets A Step Closer

Brett Smith for - Your Universe Online

Imagine a world where your toilet tells you it´s leaking, or your oven reports dinner is about to burn. Welcome to a world with the Internet of Things — smart, interconnected devices that are periodically sensing and transmitting data.

According to a statement from IBM, there will be 22 billion such gadgets by 2020, and the company says it has a new hardware system capable of receiving and processing this smorgasbord of information from the multitude of devices.

IBM´s data-orchestrating device MessageSight — which is powered by the“¯Message Queuing Telemetry Transport (MQTT) protocol — is able to process the massive amounts of data such interconnected devices are expected to produce.

“When we launched our Smarter Planet strategy nearly five years ago, our strategic belief was that the world was going to be profoundly changed as it became more instrumented, interconnected and intelligent.“¯IBM MessageSight is a major technological step forward in continuing that strategy,” said Marie Wieck, general manager of IBM´s WebSphere software division. “Until now, no technology has been able to handle this volume of messages and devices.

“What's even more exciting is that this only scratches the surface of what's to come as we continue down this path of a Smarter Planet,” she added.

The backbone of IBM´s MessageSight strategy MQTT protocol has been described as HTTP for the Internet of Things. The company notes the protocol's low power and bandwidth demands in arguing it is ideal for handling data from millions of smart devices. IBM is not alone in its pursuit of MQTT; Cisco and Red Hat have also been advocating for the protocol to be used within a future Internet of Things. In fact, MQTT is already being used in several medical devices.

Powered by MQTT, IBM claims MessageSight hardware can support a million simultaneous sensors on smart devices. The company and their partners envision a web of connected devices that benefit consumers and product makers alike.

“To realize the vision of a Smarter Planet, we must first enable the universe of instrumented sensors, devices and machines to communicate more efficiently while sharing, managing and integrating large volumes of data at a rate much faster than ever before,” Bob S. Johnson, director of development for Sprint´s Velocity Program, said in a statement released by IBM. “We have been testing IBM MessageSight for some initial projects and are excited about the capabilities that it could help us deliver to the vehicle and beyond.”

While the benefits to the consumer may be obvious, the MessageSight system appears to be marketed toward large companies who can track where their products are, how they are being used, and how they are performing. For example, a car maker could be notified when the “Check Engine” light is activated in any given automobile.

IBM also sees the potential for big profits from the MessageSight system, citing data from market researcher IDC that says the market for mobile “enterprise infrastructure software and services” is expected to be $30.9 billion by 2016.

The Internet of Things will bring responsiveness and efficiency to the consumer, but it could also creates a panoply of privacy and security concerns. For many, it raises the spectre of a dystopian nightmare in which hackers can tap into essentially any device an individual has connected.