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Smart Grid 101: the Internet of Things and the smart grid (Part 1)

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By: SGN Staff

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Quick Take:I thought this series would be an interesting read because smart grid is often considered the first (and currently the largest) instance of the Internet of Things. With that in mind, I wanted you to see it for two reasons. One, we often talk about the intersection of smart grid and telecommunications but seldom about the intersection of smart grid and silicon, which is equally important. Second, we don't talk often enough about the intersection of smart grid and money. This series raises these issues and makes several other thought-provoking points. I invite your agreements or disagreements in the Comment form at the bottom of the page. - By Jesse Berst

 

By Kristopher Ardis

 

A Google® search on the Internet of Things (IoT) suggests that a multitude of smart devices will soon be talking to each other and deciding how the world operates without our (human) intervention. Fantasy stories on the Internet want us to believe that every atom on earth could be chattering away on a network someday. This sounds futuristic and completely detached from reality, but the IoT is already here, in the form of the smart grid.

 

The smart grid has broken from the fantasies of IoT to provide something useful. This article is the first of several segments about the tight synergy among silicon, security, the IoT and smart grid. In this Part 1 we discuss why the smart grid does not follow the pervasive IoT fantasy projections.

 

 

To realize the true potential of IoT deployments, security needs to be designed into the web of sensors that will monitor and control the planet's resources.

 

Fantasy belies reality

The fantasy of the IoT is quite grand: everything on the planet can be smart and communicate. The idea is both powerful and impractical. What if every moving part in your car could monitor itself and offer you truly predictive maintenance? That is a powerful vision. What if every brick in my house could communicate its location to my cell phone? It would certainly tell me whether bricks had fallen off the house, but is this a practical use of technology?