At some point in the future, many more everyday objects will have tiny embedded chips that can communicate with networks. But just as we’re debating net neutrality and the value of the open web vs closed client applications, we will have to decide who will control the internet of things, too. Lines are already beginning to be drawn. Ashlee Vance, writing for the New York Times’ Bits blog, profiles chipmaker ARM’s efforts to bring the internet of things to the masses with its mbed project.
Now, at Adafruit Industries’ blog, DIY-engineering all-star Limor Fried counters the Times’ warm enthusiasm for ARM’s approach with some ice-water skepticism: “mbed requires an online compiler, so that you are dependent on them forever. You cannot do anything without using their online site, ever.”
Fried adds: “We like the hardware in the mbed, the cortex series is great (it’s why we carry an ARM Cortex M3 board now) – but the ARM compiler used with mbed costs about $5,000 so maybe it will never be anywhere but online.” Adafruit notes that similar ARM boards are available with entirely open-source libraries.
Free and open-source vs. ready-for-anyone-to-use out-of-the-box: we’ve been down this road many times before. I doubt this argument will have a clear winner and loser, but it’s important that it’s clearly framed and articulated now, before any one approach gets locked-in as the default option.
Read more here.