Five Questions About an IOT-First OS

In a previous post, we discussed some of the key characteristics of an IOT-First operating system(OS). That post was inspired by the news that Google seems to be working on a brand new OS optimized for IOT capabilities.
Beyond the initial hype, the possibility of a new OS for IOT raises some very interesting questions that are worth discussing. Here are some of the questions that I came up with while thinking about this topic:

Will we see a universal IOT-First OS or OSs optimized for different IOT categories?

Different IOT categories such as drones or autonomous vehicles have evolved using very unique hardware. From that viewpoint, is worth questioning if a universal IOT-First OS will be such a good idea. Alternatively, we can see different OSs addressing various IOT categories such as drones, wearable’s or home sensors.

What is the right user interface for an IOT-First OS?

Mobile brought new user interface concepts based on touch, notifications, apps etc. However, that UI model might not be the best fit for IOT scenarios. It would be interesting to see whether an IOT-First OS leverages an extension of the mobile UI concepts or create a brand new user interface model.

Can we avoid recreating the Android fragmentation problem in IOT

The number of IOT device manufacturers in the market makes a strong case for an open source distribution model of an IOT-First OS. However, that approach can also create a lot of fragmentation in the IOT ecosystem as each manufacturer will be able to customize and distribute its own version of the OS.

If Google launches an IOT-First OS, will Amazon and Microsoft follow?

Google, Microsoft, IBM and Amazon are immersed on a frantic battle to dominate the cloud including the IOT platform services space. If Google launches an IOT-First OS, it would be interesting to see whether Microsoft, and Amazon become partners to attempt to deliver their own competitive products.

What will Apple do?

Following the previous question, Apple has dominated the latest wave of innovation in operating systems but not without a though competition with Google. With Google venturing into the IOT-First OS space, it would be interesting to see how/if it influences Apple’s position.

CEO of IntoTheBlock, Chief Scientist at Invector Labs, I write The Sequence Newsletter, Guest lecturer at Columbia University, Angel Investor, Author, Speaker.

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