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The Bulletin

An appliance to manage the Internet of things

Posting in Design

In the not-too distance future, billions of web-connected devices and sensors will be found in virtually everything in our lives: automobiles, home appliances, traffic management systems, industrial equipment, even smart buildings.

IBM introduced this week MessageSight, an appliance it says will help manage and communicate with these web-connected devices. In short, IBM aims to bring order to the Internet of things, a concept that's still very much in flux.

The Internet of things will mean, for example, that thousands of sensors will be embedded in your car. The sensors will gather data and communicate if there's a problem, like say your brake pads need to be replaced. The crux is processing the constant flow of information.

More than 22 billion web-connected devices will generate 2.5 quintillion bytes of data per day by 2020, according to IMS Research, which IBM cited in its announcement. IBM says its MessageSight appliance will be able to process large volumes of data in near real-time, allowing organizations to consolidate all of the information into one place and make better business decisions as a result.

One of these appliances is capable of supporting one million concurrent sensors or smart devices and can scale up to 13 million messages per second, said IBM.

IBM says an automotive manufacturer could use MessageSight to help manage the features and services of its automobiles. A dealer could be notified when a "check engine" light turns on in a specific car. Based on what is transmitted by the engine sensor, the dealer could then notify the owner that there is a critical problem and they should get their car serviced immediately, said IBM.

— By on April 30, 2013, 7:34 AM PST

Kirsten Korosec

Contributing Editor

Kirsten Korosec has written for Technology Review, Marketing News, The Hill, BNET and Bloomberg News. She holds a degree from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. She is based in Tucson, Arizona. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure