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Exploring the science and magic of Identity and Access Management
Saturday, January 20, 2018

Earl Perkins: The Identity of Things for the Internet of Things

Identity, Information Security, Internet of Things
Author: Mark Dixon
Wednesday, December 3, 2014
11:20 am

Earl Perkings, Gartner

Yesterday, at the Gartner Identity and Access Management SummitEarl Perkins, Gartner’s Research Vice President in Systems, Security and Risk, gave a thought-provoking talk, proposing that Identity and Access Management as it is today is not going to cut it for the Internet of Things. Some the highlights include (filtered through the lens of my interpretation):

  • IoT can be described as as set of devices that can sense and interact with the world around it. Such devices can sense, analyze, act and communicate.
  • Devices, services and applications are creators or consumers of information, and must join humans in having identities.
  • Architectural concepts of IAM may still hold, but the scale will be vastly larger and must accommodate more than human identities.
  • Perhaps the word “thing” should be replaced by the term “entity”
  • Every entity has an identity
  • We need a model of entities and relationships between these entities.
  • We must address layered hierarchies of identities.
  • We should not separate device management and identity management systems.
  • Identity Management and Asset Management systems will likely converge.
  • Identity and Access Management may become:
    • Entity Relationship Management
    • Entity Access Management
  • We may think of architectures in four levels: things, gateways/controllers, connectivity, applications and analytics.
  • Two major camps of consumption: Enterprise (where more money is currently being spent) and Consumer (which is hot and sexy, but not currently making much money).
  • Strong year-over-year IoT growth is happening in four industry sectors:
    • Automotive – 67% CAGR
    • Consumer – 32% CAGR
    • Vertical specific – 24% CAGR
    • Generic business – 44% CAGR
  • Companies are “throwing jello against the wall” to see what sticks.

I really like Earl’s ideas about convergence of “entities” and “relationships” between entities.  Please note my blog post Identity Relationship Diagrams  posted in March 2013.

I also favor his view that identity management should not be separate from device management.

It will be interesting to see how architectures are transformed and what “jello sticks to the wall” in the coming years.

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“Wink” at The Home Depot: Emerging #IoT Ecosystem?

Internet of Things
Author: Mark Dixon
Thursday, July 10, 2014
6:10 pm

Today, I learned from a USA Today article that The Home Depot and Amazon.com have begun to offer home automation devices that work with the Wink app and home automation Wink Hub

Boosting your home’s IQ got easier Monday as The Home Depot began selling a collection of nearly 60 gadgets that can be controlled by mobile devices, including light bulbs, lawn sprinklers and water heaters.

I quickly found that homedepot.com offers more Wink devices on line that does Amazon.com – interesting that the orange bastion of brick and mortar DIY sales seems to be besting Amazon at its own game!

I jumped in my pickup and drove to the nearest Home Depot store – and there it was – a Wink end cap, stationed right between the aisles offering water heaters and replacement toilets. The display wasn’t pretty, but it was there.  I could have loaded up a cart full of water sprinkler controllers, video cameras, door locks, smoke alarms, LED lights, motion sensors and more – all controllable via Wink. Pretty impressive, actually.

HomeDepotWink

Two things are significant here:

  1. The Wink ecosystem for connecting many devices from multiple vendors seems to be emerging more quickly than systems promised by Apple and Google.
  2. The Home Depot is the epitome of American mainstream – making it available to the common folks, not just techno-geeks.  Heck, I was in the Home Depot store three times last Saturday alone to pick up stuff. That’s mainstream.

It is going to be really interesting to see how this stuff becomes part of “The Fabric of our Lives.”

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The Zen of #IoT: The Fabric of our Lives

Internet of Things
Author: Mark Dixon
Thursday, July 10, 2014
5:10 pm

Cotton

When I was a young engineering student at Brigham Young University, I had a physics professor who loved to promote what he called the “Zen of Physics.”  As I recall, he proposed that if we studied the right way and meditated the right way on the virtues of physics, we would reach a state of enlightenment about his beloved area of scientific thought.

As an engineering student more interested in practical application than theoretical science, I never did reach the level of enlightenment he hoped for, although I do remember some exciting concepts related to black holes and liquid nitrogen.

This last week, as I was pondering the merits of the Internet of Things, I had a Zen-like moment, an epiphany or moment of enlightenment of sorts, as I was mowing the lawn, of all things.

My thought at that moment?  The real value of the Internet of Things will become apparent when we find that this technology becomes woven seamlessly and invisibly into “The Fabric of our Lives.”

The Fabric of our Lives” is actually a trademark of the Cotton Industry, so I can’t claim originality, but I think the concept is interesting.  When we come to realize that technology fits us as naturally and comfortably as a favorite old cotton shirt, we tend to forget about the technology itself, but enjoy the benefits of what has slowly become an integral part of ordinary living – woven into the fabric of every day life.

When I had my little epiphany last Saturday, I had forgotten my post from April 1, 2013, entitled, “IoT – Emerging and Receding Invisibly into the Fabric of Life.”  What my Zen moment added is the idea that real value to us as humans is realized not when the first flashy headlines appear, but when the technology recedes quietly into the everyday fabric of our lives.

When I think of technology that has emerged since my childhood and then proceeded to become commonplace, I am amazed: microwave ovens, digital cameras, color television, satellite communications, cable/satellite TV, personal computers, the Internet, social media, smart phones and much more.  Each one of these progressed from being novelties or the stuff of techno-geeks to becoming mainstream threads in the everyday fabric of life.

So it will be with IoT. We talk a lot about it now.  We techno-geeks revel in the audacious beautify of it all.  Just about every publication in the world has something to say about it.  But as first a handful, and then many, of the devices and concepts become commonly accepted, they too will become invisible, but highly valuable threads woven ubiquitously into “The Fabric of our Lives.”

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MyFitnessPal – #IoT Ecosystem

Internet of Things
Author: Mark Dixon
Friday, May 30, 2014
8:35 am

Myfitnesspal

One of the key enablers to substantial growth in the Internet of Things marketplace will be the progressive emergence of integrated ecosystems of devices and software systems that interact in meaningful ways.  I currently use the FitBit One device to track the steps I take each day and record the food I eat in the MyFitnessPal iPhone app.

As I was browsing the MyFitnessPal website recently, I noticed a growing number of partner applications that interact with MyFitnessPal in some way.  Upon further inspection this morning, I counted 51 apps that interact with MyFitness Pal.  The website lists four devices that are integrated for weight management:

  1. Fitbit Aria Wi-Fi Smart Scale
  2. Withings Wi-Fi Scale
  3. iHealth Wireless Scales
  4. Wahoo Balance Scale

Seven devices are listed for activity monitoring

  1. BodyMedia FIT
  2. Fitbit Tracker
  3. Striiv Play Smart Pedometer
  4. Fitbug Air Tracker
  5. Jawbone UP
  6. Lumo Back Posture Sensor
  7. Withings Pulse

I am currently very impressed with the useful integration between the FitBit tracker and the MyFitnessPal app that I use daily.  If the other apps and devices are as well integrated, this fairly simple, but growing ecosystem has great potential.

 

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#YJJ Architecture: Oracle #IoT Platform

Internet of Things, Yellow Jeep Journey, YJJ Architecture
Author: Mark Dixon
Saturday, March 22, 2014
8:06 am

As a starting point to explore how to implement the YJJ Architecture, let’s take a look at the Oracle Internet of Things platform. The following diagram highlights what parts of the Oracle reference architecture would be installed in the Jeep and which would be in the Yellow Jeep Cloud.

OracleIoT2

The Oracle architecture is built end-to-end on Java.  At the device and gateway end, Oracle Java ME Embedded can e leveraged in the sensor devices. Oracle Java SE Embedded would be used in the Gateway device that ties multiple sensor subsystems together and communicates wirelessly to the Yellow Jeep Cloud in a data center.

In the Yellow Jeep Cloud, a variety of Oracle middleware and application products, also implemented in Java, can be leveraged, based on the specific application. 

In future posts, I will drive to a deeper level of detail on both the Jeep and cloud sides of the architecture to examine how this reference architecture can be applied to equip my Yellow Jeep for its journey.

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#YJJ Architecture: Multi-level Feedback Control

Yellow Jeep Journey, YJJ Architecture
Author: Mark Dixon
Thursday, March 13, 2014
7:45 pm

Much of the discussion of the Internet of Things revolves around the myriad of intelligent sensors that can be used to collect data from almost anywhere (even pulse rate from your ear . But I really think the power of IoT will really be harnessed when data from all those sensors is used to make intelligent decisions and provide feedback control that improves the operation of whatever systems we are using.

I like to think of this in terms of Supervisory Control, a concept I first learned about and applied in implementing manufacturing and process control systems in the 1980’s.  Extrapolating that concept forward to the Internet of Things, I like to use the following diagram as a framework for discussion.

Feedback

 

Three levels of control are illustrated in this diagram:

1. Device Control

Each individual intelligent device may collect data from multiple sensors and exert control over the device.  

For example, in a Yellow Jeep or other modern vehicle, the Engine Control Unit (ECU) depends on both sensors and actuators to control engine function. The following diagram illustrates how various input sensor are used by the Electronic Control Unit (ECU) to control various actuators (e.g. igniter, injector) and generate operator alerts (e.g. Check Engine Light).

Ecu

 

2. Gateway or Subsystem Supervisory Control

Gateways or subsystem controllers may be used to aggregate data from multiple devices and provide subsystem-level supervisory control over those devices. 

For example, in the Yellow Jeep example, a video subsystem may aggregate video feeds from multiple cameras while providing synchronized control over video zoom, pan and tilt functions.

Cameras

 

3. Overall Supervisory Control

As data is gathered from various subsystems into the Cloud, that data can certainly be ingested and stored for historical analysis and visualization, but real time analysis of that data could be used to coordinate may subordinate systems.  

For example, what if an army of Yellow Jeeps were exploring different parts of the world at the same time?  Each of these Jeeps may have one or more subsystems that collect data and perform their own local supervisory control functions.  However, data collected from all those Jeeps could be analyzed in the cloud in real time and fed back to the individual Jeeps to control how they are operated.  I’m not sure just what that supervisory control might be, but it is worthy of exploration.

Supervisory

 

Please let me know what you think.

Roll on Yellow Jeep Journey!

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#YJJ Architecture: Heart Rate Monitor?

Yellow Jeep Journey, YJJ Architecture
Author: Mark Dixon
Thursday, March 13, 2014
5:46 pm

When I posted my thoughts about how to instrument my Yellow Jeep, Ricardo Diaz, an Oracle colleague, offered a great recommendation for extra instrumentation via a LinkedIn message:

Heart beat monitor sensor with GPS SMS alerting for concerned fathers.

I’ve rolled a Jeep once. A slow roll off a sand dune in Florida. My heart jumped out of the Jeep before me!

Well, Ricardo, here’s an idea I found on the web – a pulse rate sensor you can clip to your ear!  Certainly we should be able to capture that rate and generate an appropriate alert when things get hairy in the jeep!

Pulse1 Pulse2

The Pulse Sensor team introduces the sensor this way:

Pulse Sensor Amped is a greatly improved version of our original Pulse Sensor, a plug-and-play heart-rate sensor for Arduino.  It can be used by students, artists, athletes, makers, and game & mobile developers who want to easily incorporate live heart-rate data into their projects.  

Maybe it could also be used by a Yellow Jeep guy!  We might even start rating Jeep trails by the high heart rates they cause!

Roll on Yellow Jeep Journey!

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#YJJ Architecture: Yellow Jeep Cloud

Yellow Jeep Journey, YJJ Architecture
Author: Mark Dixon
Thursday, March 13, 2014
5:23 pm

Yjjcloud

Having previously introduced my thoughts about Yellow Jeep Architecture Users and Instrumenting the Jeep  we can begin to explore what functionality should exist in the Yellow Jeep Cloud. Here are some functions I have considered:

Basic Yellow Jeep Cloud functions:

  • data ingest
  • data storage
  • event processing
  • historical analysis, trending
  • supervisory control functions
  • historical route mapping
  • authentication
  • authorization
  • user registration / profile management
  • user password/credential management
  • API security

Of course, in keeping with modern standards in the API Economy  cloud functions would all be exposed in the Yellow Jeep API, with capabilities such as these:

  • ingest data
  • ingest audio
  • ingest video
  • request raw data
  • request data summary
  • request calculated data
  • request supervisory control data
  • request video stream/segment
  • request audio stream/segment
  • authentication
  • authorization
  • user management

What functionality should I add?  What capabilities do you think should existing in the Yellow Jeep API?

Roll on Yellow Jeep Journey!

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#YJJ Architecture: Instrumenting the Jeep

Internet of Things, Yellow Jeep Journey, YJJ Architecture
Author: Mark Dixon
Monday, March 10, 2014
9:24 pm

Sensorjeep

What instrumentation do you think I should install in my Yellow Jeep for its long journey?

Here are some of the sensors that I have considered:

  • Engine monitoring – via On Board Diagnostic (OBD) port
  • tire pressure
  • location – GPS coordinates
  • internal temperature
  • external temperature
  • light intensity
  • video – forward, reverse, left, right, driver, passenger, roaming camera
  • audio – multiple microphones
  • driver ID
  • passenger ID(s)
  • velocity
  • acceleration
  • yaw, pitch, roll
  • altitude
  • air pressure
  • humidity

Some human input that may be appropriate in the Jeep includes

  • audio/video/text comments
  • ongoing journal
  • still/video camera, independent of vehicle

These are just a few of the hundreds of possibilities.  It will be fun to sort through these possibilities and select a subset for test purposes.

A friend suggested that fingerprint sensors should be added for identification of the driver and passengers.

What suggestions might you have?

Roll on Yellow Jeep Journey!

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Yellow Jeep Technology Convergence – Take 2

Yellow Jeep Journey
Author: Mark Dixon
Thursday, March 6, 2014
9:21 am

Recently, I posted a diagram illustrating the convergence of technology for the Yellow Jeep Journey  After further thought, I believe the following diagram is a bit more accurate.  By separating Social Media and other services from the Yellow Jeep cloud, we can focus on what functions should exist within the Yellow Jeep cloud and what services will used from other sources.

Cloud02

 

Roll on Yellow Jeep Journey!

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