Alan Weissberger Internet of Everything Wearable & Implantables Wireless

Are the Internet of Things (IoT) & Internet of Everything (IoE) the Same Thing?


For quite some time, Cisco and Qualcomm have used the term Internet of Everything (IoE) to describe what almost everyone else refers to as the Internet of Things (IoT).

Qualcomm says on its IoE web page

“When smart things everywhere are connected together, we will be able to do more and be more. This is the Internet of Everything (IoE), a paradigm shift that marks a new era of opportunity for everyone, from consumers and businesses to cities and governments….”

“Qualcomm is creating the fabric of IoE for everyone everywhere to enable this Digital Sixth Sense.”

Cisco defines the Internet of Everything (IoE) as bringing together people, process, data, and things to make networked connections more relevant and valuable than ever before – turning information into actions that create new capabilities, richer experiences, and unprecedented economic opportunity for businesses, individuals, and countries.

But is that the same as the IoT? And how do they both relate to Machine-to-Machine communications (AKA M2M)?

Network Gives Value to “Things” at Cisco:

Cisco devoted several sessions to the IoE at its flagship Cisco Live conference this week in San Francisco, CA:

  1. ITMGEN-4113 –  Delivering Value in an Internet of Everything World
  2. BRKNMS-2703 –  Managing the Internet of Everything
  3. BSAIoT-2400 –  The Transition to the Internet of Everything: Architectures and Use Cases
  4. GENKEY-2400 –  The Internet of Everything Ecosystem – Bringing IT and OT Together with the Internet of Things
  5. BRKIOT-2020 –  The Evolution from Machine-to-Machine (M2M) to the Internet of Everything: Technologies and Standards
  6. ATE-CL342 –  What Does the Internet of Things Mean to You?
  7. PSOIoT-2000 –  How will the Internet of Things Help your Business?

We liked this statement from one of the above IoT session abstracts: “The value of the Internet of Things is realized through networked connections of physical objects and devices. These connections are crucial for the transition to an Internet of Everything…”  But what exactly does that mean?

At Cisco Live, CEO John Chambers said the Internet of Everything (IoE) has changed the way the world looks at data and technology. Future IT industry growth will come from the IoE, which is generally referred to as the sharing of data between smart devices over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction.

Chambers said:

“The simple concept, as you move forward with IoE, is that you have to get the right information at the right time to the right device to the right person to make the right decision. It sounds simple, but it is very, very difficult to do, and is almost impossible to do without our architecture….”

Mala Anand, Sr VP of Software and Service Platforms at Cisco, attempted to clarify the difference (from Cisco’s perspective) between the Internet-of-Things and the Internet-of-Everything at the Cisco Live session titled: The Internet of Everything Ecosystem – Bringing IT and OT Together with the Internet of Things .

Ms. Anand opined the Internet-of-Everything begins with the Internet-of-Things, which she explained is the movement driving connectivity into devices that were previously not connected.  “The Internet-of-Everything is a paradigm with a promise of business transformation at scale,” she said.   The “business transformation and value at stake” includes: asset utilization, employee productivity, supply chain/logistics, customer experience, and innovation.

Ms. Anand outlined three types of Internet-of-Everything connections:

  1. machine-to-machine, a.k.a. M2M (i.e. robots, sensors, etc.)
  2. machine-to-people
  3. people-to-people (i.e. social networking)

This world of IoE creates a different level of complexity with hyper-distributed environments, according to Anand.  She stressed the need to build a partner ecosystem that drives interoperability and support for a platform that can drive new sources of value and business models.  Indeed, Cisco partners Intel, NetApp and EMC also spoke at this Cisco Live session.

Anand reiterated previous forecasts made by Cisco executives – that the Internet-of-Everything will evolve into a $19 trillion market (“value at stake”) in the next few years.

IoT = IoE at Qualcomm?

During his opening keynote at TiECon 2014, Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf made no such distinction between IoE (the term they use) and IoT (mainstream term).  Steve implied that Qualcomm believed that the Internet of Things (IoT) was the same thing as the Internet of Everything (IoE).

He said IoE was an extension of Qualcomm’s existing business as it requires both mobile connectivity and wireless LANs (e.g. WiFi, Zigbee, etc).  

Note that Qualcomm now owns Atheros Communications- a leading chip maker for WiFi and other wireless LANs.

“Qualcomm is building a portfolio of products to enable the Internet of Everything (IoE),” Steve Mollenkopf said.  “Scale is very important to deliver on the very large surface area that will exist for the IoE,” he added.

What about “wearables?” “Health monitoring and wireless healthcare in general is a great, but different opportunity for Qualcomm. What’s needed is for the health care industry to fully embrace innovation in the IT industry. The supply chain for wearables is an opportunity for Qualcomm,” Mollenkopf added.

IoT – A Top Disruptive Trend Giving Rise to Multiple Market Segments:

McKinsey Global Institute’s Disruptive Technologies report calls out the Internet of Things (IoT) as a top disruptive technology trend that will have an impact of as much as $6 Trillion on the world economy by 2025 with 50 billion connected devices! Many are predicting 20 or 25 billion connected devices by 2020.

For sure, IoT will be a huge market, but not monolithic.  Each vertical industry will have its own opportunities and challenges. Lack of industry standards, security (business), and privacy (consumer) are the biggest obstacles for IoT to overcome and be successful. These issues must be resolved for IoT to reach it’s promise and potential.

We’re still not sure if IoT and IoE are two acronyms for the same term or something different. We’ll let the reader be the judge of that.

Author Alan Weissberger

By Alan Weissberger

Alan Weissberger is a renowned researcher in the telecommunications field. Having consulted for telcos, equipment manufacturers, semiconductor companies, large end users, venture capitalists and market research firms, we are fortunate to have his critical eye examining new technologies.

8 replies on “Are the Internet of Things (IoT) & Internet of Everything (IoE) the Same Thing?”

Interesting food for thought, Alan and thanks for writing. I probably would have thought of them as synonymous terms before this article; now I am not so certain. “Things” just seems to apply to items connected together on a piecemeal basis (or maybe to improve one system), whereas “Everything” implies some uber-connected world where totally disparate connections and systems are integrated.

For it to become a $19B$19T market (which is more than 25% of current Gross World Product), it seems like the Internet will have to touch Everything.

Here’s the relevant part of that ZDNET article about what Chambers said about IoT/IoE:
“Chambers boasted that Cisco started in on Internet of Things/Everything at least six years ago. He predicted that most of the computing capability and analytics will be at the edge of the network to turn around data into major leverage points. The bottom line, as projected by Chambers, is that the IoT is going to be a $19 trillion profit market in the next few years. That includes $2.9 trillion for manufacturing, as one example, alone. Internet of Things is becoming the backbone (at least in rhetoric) of Cisco’s overall business strategy, and Chambers pointed in that direction once again, stressing that Cisco’s IoT game plan combines the company’s cloud strategy with data analytics, mobile, collaboration, and most important of all, security. He reiterated that it’s really about how quickly can you get the desired business outcomes matched by lower OpEx.”

Articles on TiECON 2014 IoT Track just completed:

1. TiECon 2014 Summary-Part 1: Qualcomm Keynote & IoT Track Overview
2. TiECon 2014 Summary-Part 2: Highlights of Industrial IoT Infrastructure Session
3. TiECon 2014 Summary-Part 3: Highlights of Qualcomm’s Keynote -Proximity’s Role in the Internet of Everything (IoE)
4. TiECon 2014 Summary-Part 4: Highlights of IBM keynote- What Really Matters for IoT

Good thoughts, Alan. Terminology matters. I think IoE has the advantage of being [more] inclusive of people, as IoT seems to be too restrictive (we are not things, but we are a subset of “everything”…) . What I find to be inaccurate in this expression, is in fact the “Internet” word. The networking is likely to be very heterogeneous – many if not most devices will not have an Internet address. Their broader access will be mediated by hubs and gateways doing more than natting. See the home IoT market (Revolve, SmartThings…). IoT-A sees “a set of Intranets of things, not an Internet of things”. Food for your next article on the topic 😉

New worry for IoT: Intruders for the Plugged-In Home, Coming In Through the Internet (NY Times):
“When you worry about computer viruses, you can unplug your computer. When your house gets a virus, where do you go?”

Another troubling aspect of the Internet of Things: the privacy implications. In that regard, hackers are only one worry. The companies that are actually making these technologies could become flies on our walls. In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission late last year, Google said it foresaw a future of ads in cars, watches, glasses, thermostats and so on.

eWeek: The rapid expansion of device connectivity is fueling growth in the market for solutions designed to power the Internet of Things, according to projections from IDC. Analysts say the transition to a more demand-driven market will help drive compound annual growth of 17.5% in the Internet of Things sector through the end of the decade, with revenues expected to reach $7.1 trillion by 2020.

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