The motivation for launching the Open IOT Foundation effort began when we were exploring a few modest innovations in home automation. Nothing complicated but what we discovered was that building a simple controller to integrate a few sensors and a switch was surprisingly difficult. A solution required a confusing array of proprietary, closed home automation systems whose components simply wouldn’t work together without costly and cumbersome integration products. Even purportedly “open” technology required costly licensing fees or used outdated technology. And everything was ridiculously expensive considering the actual cost of the underlying component technology.
Far more troubling than dealing with integrated outdated home automation technology was a rapidly emerging trend in the Internet of Things that presumed every “thing” in the IOT must be connected to the “cloud”. Indeed, many new IOT devices simply won’t operate without a cloud connection yet these vendors seldom acknowledge that every simple event triggering the operation of the device is recorded in the “cloud” without explicit approval of the user.
We began exploring this issue of the risks of cloud-based IOT devices and were surprised to discover that more voices weren’t being raised about this potentially huge privacy invasion. In our view, it could be even more pernicious than what Facebook, Google and Amazon are already doing with personal data they collect.
The realization that a public outcry was not being raised about this important issue launched us our mission. The objective of the Open IOT Foundation is to create consumer awareness about the promises and perils of the Internet of Things.
Gary Ebersole, Director
Gary, a 25-year veteran of Silicon Valley, has worked in high-tech companies ranging from two-person startups to Fortune 500 corporations with 35,000 employees. His long career in technology began as a software developer and led to senior executive roles in engineering, sales and marketing, including stints as CEO and president of several venture capital-funded startups. Gary is launching his "third act" from Santa Fe, New Mexico.
David White, Director
David White has over 30 years in senior roles in Information Technology.