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Eclipse IoT: The Next Ten Years

Wednesday, November 3, 2021 - 13:58 by Frédéric Desbiens

If you attended EclipseCon 2021, you probably heard about the 10th anniversary of the Eclipse IoT Working Group. Throughout the end of 2021 and into 2022, we will celebrate this significant milestone together. 

Our first step to commemorate the occasion has been to organize a panel regrouping five early contributors to the working group: Benjamin Cabé, Marco Carrer, Andy Piper, Ian Skerrett, and Andy Stanford-Clark. During the conversation, they reminisced about the early days and shared their vision of the future. I acted as the panel's moderator, and I must say I have been impressed by the insights shared by our pioneers. 

I want to share what I think the next ten years will have in store for the Eclipse IoT working group in this blog post.

1. Edge Computing Will Be an Integral Part of IoT

Optimizing power consumption, reducing latency, keeping bandwidth usage under control... There are many reasons to leverage edge computing in IoT deployments. As 5G coverage grows and EdgeOps platforms mature, I expect that enterprise IoT deployments where devices are connected directly to the cloud will become increasingly rare. In addition, orchestration platforms and protocols built from the ground up for the edge, such as Eclipse ioFog and Eclipse zenoh, will see their adoption grow.

2. Open Source Hardware Will Dominate

Nowadays, most software is updated several times per year. IoT solutions, on the other hand, rely on hardware devices deployed in the physical world. They are often in hard-to-reach places and, consequently, costly to replace even if the devices themselves are affordable. Therefore, organizations expect them to last a long time. Moreover, in the context of industrial automation, most machines now ship with built-in sensors and connectivity, but their lifecycle will still be in decades. Open-source hardware will help ensure the availability of critical hardware components over the long term.

3. Open Source Specifications Will Drive Standardization

Traditional standardization organizations, such as the ISO and the IEEE, are here to stay. However, there is a need for processes such as the Eclipse Foundation Specification Process that mandate work in the open and maintain a level playing field between stakeholders. Another advantage of the EFSP is that it accelerates innovation by relying on a self-certification model for compatible implementations of the specification, which significantly reduces the time-to-market of compatible products.

And there you have it! Whether my predictions will be accurate or not, one thing I'm sure of is that the second decade of Eclipse IoT will be even more exciting.