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back to article WTF is... Weightless?

Weightless, the would-be world standard that allows devices to talk to devices without human intervention, reaches its first major release milestone this spring. Version 1.0 of the technology specification is set to be published in March or April and then it will be able to begin making the much-hyped but yet to be delivered ‘ …

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Doomed from the start

I give it 3 months before the fridge is sending the cooker pictures of kittens milk cartons saying "can i haz cream". The cooker wont notice, as it's spending all it's time looking at utensil porn.

And thus the internet's remaining bandwidth will shrivel and die.

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Re: Doomed from the start

>utensil porn.

"Ohh-err, I don't half fancy that vibrating fork I saw at CES"

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Re: Doomed from the start

The reason you know this is that your credit card has been talking to your cooker, which is now logged in to premium utensil porn.

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Re: utensil porn

At least the cooker isn't looking at real filth like sporks.

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Says the toaster: "Whoops, I over did that"

Replies the fire alarm: "Okay, I'll hold on for a minute... can you ask the TV to bring this to the attention of the meatbag?"

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TV replies "sorry but I can't get the remote off the damned cooker, says it's bidding on a vibrating fork"

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Terminator

[See image]

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Lots of people would happily pay money to be free of that nagging thought "I am sure I turned off the gas hob?", as they are their way to the train station.

Another would be a telephone that turns down your TV or stereo when a call comes in (Bang and Olufsen do this already).

I can imagine many uses that this 'internet of things' will be put to have already been pioneered in making kit for disabled people (blinking lights to alert deaf people to their doorbell, for example)

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Pint

" (blinking lights to alert deaf people to their doorbell, for example)"

hehe, reminds me of a mate who, on seeing a phone with a flashing light to supplement the ringtone, declared confidently

"Ah, it must be designed for blind people to use "

cue a mouth-agape + WTF-are-you-talking-about stare from yours truly. Realizing he had sounded off mouth without engaging brain*, he quickly corrected himself (unfortunatley with brain still disengaged):

""Ah, it must be designed for DEAF people to use"

That time I was literally ROTFL

*possibly related to the number of pints that had been pre-consumed

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Happy

This might clarify things

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L7L3iSZsNpY

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Hmm...

IoT also standds for interoperability tseting, I can see way too many things to go wrong here.

Up to 4W? Under the right conditions that can go for many miles as well as penetrating buildings.

What happens if there isn't any white space available when you need it? Car - car - crunch.

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Re: Hmm...

Err, the idea of this is to get coverage, not performance per se. Miles would be good. And you wouldn't be using it for time-critical applications (like road trains), so if there's no white space, no problem. Unless, of course, you're driving a camper van and your cooker was trying to chat up the multimedia system in that feck off swish wagon in the queue behind you....

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Cyclists

Best use case that I ever heard for this technology was for fitting it to bikes, particularly in urban environments. Get's around the whole numberplate identity issue. Then the small number of cyclists who ride like idots in heavilly populated areas can be held to account.

The same guys also explained how it could make rural/single-carriageway roads MUCH safer as apparently a horrendous amount of the serious accidents are due to dirvers being unaware of other vehicles (oncomming, stopped at junctions, tractors etc.) but they also mentioned it being wearable by rural pedestrians and sheep too... not sure about the sheep bit though, but I think that's cause they'd be wearing the tags anyway to make them traceable.

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WTF?

Re: Cyclists

Apart from the fact that we can't seem to hold to account motorists who drive like idiots....

That application doesn't need range - it needs good directionality and low range (order of 10's to 100's of yards).

And then it needs 100% take up, because otherwise it will just be another beep that it ignored in the cab, or a beep that is totally relied up - precluding the use of protoplasmic scanners.

I'd quite like to have a cycle computer using this - small battery on board, take 6V AC from the dynamo and have my trip data available at home/online wherever I am...

Of course the base stations would need to relay, sometimes across most of the country, but I assume that's the point.

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Re: Cyclists

feckin cyclists

thats all

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Trollface

Re: Cyclists

You cyclists are a bunch of grumpy fuckers, when you aren't holding me up, out of puff, on a bit of a hill.

actually ESPECIALLY when you are holding me up... etc etc etc

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Cyberdyne here we go

After 15ns of the fridge being connected is cancels your supermarket order and signals the T.V to only show keep fit videos and then locks the door while your car heads out of the garage to park only it knows where so you will have to walk once starvation sets in.

I for one welcom our connected hoover overlords!

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Anonymous Coward

Vibrating fork? Nah. FILFs.

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Cart before horse?

It's an interesting idea but - and I may be being thick here - this is still a method for transmission and not a new protocol, right? So until IPv6 is actually used in anger, there are going to be no addresses for the cooker or any other device to use anyway.

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Re: Cart before horse?

Define "addresses". Or are you under the impression that TCP/IP is needed for communication? The world had wireless communication prior to TCP/IP.

It actually might be more secure if you kept TCP/IP out of this domain, but some form of encryption or serialization would be a must. Maybe generate a key off your thumb print? Something like that should ensure uniqueness to a local 100 mile radius at any given time. Obviously something will be put in play, otherwise it will be the equivalent of car alarms going off at random times of the day.

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How does this differ from the "Neuron" chip in everything concept.

I'm not sure.

The idea of "stuff" sharing various useful facts with other devices in the immediate vicinity has always sounded useful but the jokers have always been a)Proprietary lockin. I want whatever stuff I buy to work with the stuff I already got regardless of brand. b) What stuff is be being shared?

It'll be intriguing to see if this gets traction. A few big wins could move this form "interesting idea" up to "We've got to design this into our next mobile/satnav/cooker/doorbell/whatever.

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Terminator

Fridge - :-)

Stove - ;-)

Fridge - :-O

Stove - :-P

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Re "A wireless car, for example, becomes useless if it moves beyond range of a base-station."

Does it?

Since this is supposed to be Machine to Machine, not Machine to base station, the implementation should surely be that which maintains its usefulness so long as the two *machines* that wish to communicate are in range of each other.

All of which makes perfect sense. Only the particular traffic light I'm approaching (and maybe the next one down the road) needs to know that I'm approaching and in which direction I'm heading. That's enough tor it to optimise the junction priorites (no more long green lights to the only route that doesn't have any traffic) and tell my car it should slow down to conserve fuel, so that it doesn't reach the junction before it turns green. And traffic lights are rarely so far apart that they can't pass on messages about jams further along my route and suggest a better route.

What's that I hear? Even though its supposedly M2M, it has to be designed to go via a base station so that some mega corporation can *charge* for the service?

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Does the..

Fridge, other appliance, clean itself?

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Anonymous Coward

It'll all be OK when

My lawnmower can tell my Microwave to wake me up because the neighbour's pretty daughter is sunbathing topless again.....

Eh? Oh... just me then!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: It'll all be OK when

Is this the first genuine practical application?

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Mushroom

Kill it with fire

Yet another half baked technoutopian wet dream for soulless wankers to market to fucking idiots.

It will never work, well, it will work for a bit, then it will fuck up and you'll find your smoke alarm has been going off every time you leave the house, your cooker keeps calling out engineers, who keep replacing the bit that keeps calling them out, your fridge has ordered 20 litres of sour cream, your washing machine refuses to unlock the door and your telly keeps randomly switching to channel3 because the microwave told it to.

And those will just be the bugs, which the whole system will be riddled with. Once the "hackers" get in on the fun you might as well sell your house and live in a tent before some twat fires up your oven and burns it down for the lols.

TL;DR Fuck the internet of things.

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WTF?

eh ?

"maybe a tenth of a bit every second. " One bit every 10s I get, but how do you send 1/10th of a bit ?

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Re: eh ?

For a one, just send a tenth of the length at a time, for a zero, send 36 degrees of its circumference. Duh!

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Go

Re: eh ?

RTFM! "36 degrees" is not portable! Use deg36_t || udeg36_t.

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Mushroom

Skynet

run.

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M2M and IoT proponents talk not only of driverless cars and smart cities, but

Sure, like they talked of how records, telephones, movies, television, and the internet would revolutionize education.

Promoters and salesmen always talk of how technology will fix our problems, but our problems are not technological.

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Deja-vu all over again

My first job 25years ago was at a Philips spinout that was going to connect all your household appliances (or at least all the Philips ones) with a network that ran over mains wiring.

After all the bold visions of your washing machine talking to your cooker to find out what you had spilled on younr shirt, the only non-laughable application anybody could come up with was having everything sync its clock correctly ever spring/autumn

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Re: Deja-vu all over again

At the back of my mind I have a memory of a survey pointing out that the average domestic microwave consumed more power running its clock than actually heating food. Anyone confirm?

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Boffin

Re: Deja-vu all over again

"My first job 25years ago was at a Philips spinout that was going to connect all your household appliances (or at least all the Philips ones) with a network that ran over mains wiring."

Neatly illustrating the proprietary lockin angle.

"After all the bold visions of your washing machine talking to your cooker to find out what you had spilled on younr shirt, the only non-laughable application anybody could come up with was having everything sync its clock correctly ever spring/autumn"

Neatly illustrating the "What do we use it for?" angle.

M2M is tricky because it takes humans out of the loop. So it has to be something people want to do but may be difficult for a human to keep up (maintaining safe car separation at the exact safe stopping distance for the vehicle speed and road conditions) in a way people are comfortable with.

How about a smoke alarm that shuts down all gas and electrical appliances (or their sockets) in the room its in when it detects smoke? Burglar alarm warns other appliances the property is now vacant so the power shower you left on shuts off. How about cars that automatically slow down to allow buses to pull out or traffic lights that tell vehicles their state and how long till their next change. Just an advisory but the potential effects on average road speed (and fuel consumption) could be huge.

The only actual M2M applications I'm aware of are things like industrial machinery monitoring, where sensors detect excess wear and book service appointments most spectacularly jet engines on airliners. Likewise vending machines reporting they have run out of brand X cans (eliminating 1 driver and their vehicle can deliver big savings over a year).

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Boffin

Re: Deja-vu all over again

"At the back of my mind I have a memory of a survey pointing out that the average domestic microwave consumed more power running its clock than actually heating food. Anyone confirm?"

Well an operating microwave consumes 650W to 1000W plus.

I'd doubt any timer module would need more than 10W

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Re: Deja-vu all over again

>How about a smoke alarm that shuts down all gas and electrical appliances (or their sockets) in the room its in when it detects smoke?

I'm probably just illustrating your point about these things being tricky- but wouldn't that example prevent owners of cordless DECT phones from ringing the fire service?

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I need this!

car-to-car links that send warnings from vehicle to vehicle to automatically prevent them getting too close...

Mine is the one with the bomb explosion and machine gun sounds!

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I can predict one application - home meters

electricity, water etc. That would be useful, although not necessarily welcome.

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The IoT is inevitable

There comes a time where the economies of scale make it cheaper to build network aware devices entirely rather than have two production lines producing smart or dumb devices.

Provided we do things sensibly, we should already be able to start the process of switching to smart devices. Some devices, such controllers for heating, lighting, etc should be near or beyond the point where the savings they create pay for the devices. That is, the net operating cost, including accounting for amortization of capital cost of the smart devices will be less than the net operating cost of dumb ones.

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