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What the internet of things can learn from Minecraft and Lemmings

Once we have a home full of connected devices do we really want to individually manage all of them? Mike Kuniavsky, a principal in the Innovation Services Group at PARC, explains in this weeks podcast how we’re going to have to think differently about programming devices for the internet of things. Devices will need to know what they contain and how those elements might contribute to a certain scenario in the home.

For example when you want to watch a movie, you shouldn’t have to program 6 different devices in your home to tell them what they should do when you toggle on your movie setting, your devices should have some sense of what they are capable of and how to enter a set mode. As he did in his chat in February at our San Francisco Internet of Things meetup, Kuniavsky, likened this device behavior to video games like Minecraft or Lemmings, where preset general behaviors determines how the game unfolded as opposed to rigid and specific actions. He explains all this and more in the podcast. Check it out.

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Show notes:
Host: Stacey Higginbotham

  • How many connected devices will we need and how do we choose the ones we want?
  • Information processing is now cheap enough that it’s just another line item to consider when building a physical product.
  • What does the future of programming for the internet of things look like?

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2 Responses to “What the internet of things can learn from Minecraft and Lemmings”

  1. A few things come to mind, Jini (Sun, Java, Bill Joy ….).

    It’s about data binding and meaning, currently a programmer does it. Is that necessary ?
    How does adaptability work over time? Your disco mode is not mine nor will it stay the same for kids over time (data binding, meaning again).

    Years and years ago I linked a DB to kernels firewall. Why? Instead of me/people managing spam block lists, the systems adapts over time(identifies and creates/manages bl lists, wh lists ….). Self organization ….

    • You got that right. Bill Joy (aka Nostradamus 2.0) predicted all this stuff years ago. Jini was going to be the coin of the realm for devices, but the west coast Sun EJB legacy thinkers were better politicians than the east coast Sun Jini/JavaSpaces team. And the resulting morass and complexity of appserver is what we are all saddled with now.

      Also, the Choreography Description Language that has been around for years, allows you to describe behavior and lets a services architecture (the framework under the home devices infrastructure) run according to those behaviors. Hence the ‘choreography’ tag… as opposed to old-fashioned ‘orchestration’.