Unlike the social Internet and the business Internet, the industrial Internet is hampered by legacy devices, proprietary communication methods and a lack of standardization, according to Lux Research.
The two most near-term cases for the industrial Internet relate to commercial buildings and manufacturing operations, according to Lux Research’s report, “Understanding the Structure of Communication: Sorting Through the Protocols Behind the Industrial Internet.” Both sectors have well-entrenched automation, but are only beginning to capitalize on the value of connecting and networking existing infrastructure.
Lux Research analysts developed a weighted evaluation matrix to assess middleware protocols and transport protocols. Among their findings:
- Wireless protocols have a way to go. Few wireless protocols are robust enough for real-time critical applications. Those that can work with little interference and maintain high security don’t have the connectivity qualities needed for large-scale deployment – with a few exceptions such as Weightless, ThingPark Wireless and On-Ramp Wireless.
- No blanket winner in middleware. The suitability of both middleware and transport for the industrial Internet really depends upon application – there is no blanket winner. Protocols like DDS, AMQP and MQTT rise to the top, reflecting their strength in offering scalable, real-time critical solutions.
- Innovation is needed from device makers. Device makers need to buck the trend of legacy protocols and explore alternative options. Companies like WirelessHart, Dash7 and Weightless, all have strong potential in a number of building and manufacturing applications.