Sensor networks with hierarchies and their resultant isolation will eventually give way to the notion that all devices should interoperate with the world, through IP protocols. I’ve advocated this trend for some time, but several news items from Sensors magazine reinforce this: Zigbee and IP and Pedigree Releases Oneview
From an architectural perspective, this only makes sense for several reasons:
1. Network boundaries based on protocols and transports are technical problems, not business ones.
2. Security through obscurity and incompatibility is not secure, therefore real controls need to also be business, not product oriented.
3. When every sensor is is viewed from a services perspective, it becomes clear that real integration to many applications does not always need to be done through a gateway. Many times, the horses mouth is a better source of information.
4. Businesses are increasingly interested in services delivered by the cloud, whether that cloud is the public cloud, or one of their own ownership, the cloud concept is ubiquitous, and reliable, not focused and fragile hierarchical architectures.
Of course, Wifi Sensors already have IP capability, now Zigbee sensors will approximate it. But there functional protocols in Wifi sensors don’t exist. Perhaps we can encourage these camp to standardize on both network and functional protocols and the world would be more interoperable for sensor networks.