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Saturday, November 6, 2010

Internet of Things - IPV6

It’s the story of Jan 2000. A very close friend of mine used to work in downtown, an hour drive from home. It was Monday morning, as usual he woke up early in the morning, prepared a quick "bulls eyes" with left over eggs from the refrigerator, finished his breakfast, put the frying pan in kitchen sink and left for his office. The day started with weekly meeting and hectic schedule. Around noon, he received a call from Fire department where they broke the window to enter his house to extinguish the fire caught due to smoke erupted out of the electric stove. The thing which he had forgot before leaving home, was to switch off the electric stove.

As we all were technology folks and internet was booming with dotcom, we started thinking about solution to avoid such accident. What if all the household devices have an IP address through which we could access the device over the internet and then control the behavior of the device. But the real challenge was the limitation of assigning the IP addresses to all the household items given the fact IPV4 is 32 bit. The industry forecasts for exhaustion of the unallocated IPV4 address space range from 2011 to 2014.

With the emerge of IPV6 developed by the IETF in response to IPV4 address depletion could be the answer to this problem. The significance of IPV6 has to do with the abundance of assignable IP addresses. IPV6 addresses are 128 bits long. This means IPV6 comes with a total of 2^128 (2 to the power of 128) unique addresses – an astronomical number which is sufficient to dole out unique IPV6 addresses to any conceivable networkable object on earth into the indefinite future. One of the most important value propositions of IPv6 is its role in facilitating the emergence of the “Internet of Things,” which pertains to a network interconnecting common objects equipped with embedded miniaturized intelligence modules. The enormous address space of IPv6 will enable support of smart appliances, mobile devices, and associated services that will underpin the envisaged Internet of Things. Futurists have speculated the Internet of Things could potentially result in one of the largest transformations of human civilization subsequent to the Industrial Revolution.

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