Thoughts on Qualcomm AllJoyn and ARM’s MBED IoT

At Qualcomm’s Uplinq 3 weeks ago, there was an awesome vision talk from Rob Chandhok on AllJoyn, QCOM’s vision for IoT (or IoE as they say). You can see it here.

It was interesting to compare that to the talk by Dave Locke of IBM at the ARM MBED event the following week. This was ARM’s big announcement of MBED branching out to the Cloud and the launch of MBED OS.

The IBM story was hub-and-spoke. Everything goes back to the Cloud. Well, of course. We make servers, software and services…

The Qualcomm story was of a meshy spontaneous web of devices around you that doesn’t necessarily go back to the Cloud, instead often sorting tasks out itself through a combination of smart devices. We make Apps processors!

I like to think of a combination of the two. Spontaneous mesh around you with gateways to the Cloud.

Having used both MBED and AllJoyn, I note that MBED is much easier to use. AllJoyn is an awesome, big, exciting vision. But for me it still fails the printf test ie. how simple is it to create the simplest notification.

Here are some of the key points from the Qualcomm talk:

  • The edge of the network (the home, the car, the wearable) is a new place to do compute.
  • Which processor in the house/car a task runs on changes dynamically
  • Edge of intent is meshy and messy. Unpredictable
  • Origin of Internet was “how do I build a resilient network.”
  • We have overplayed hub and spoke on top of ARPANET simplicity
  • Customers will not register a domain per shoe. Need a new model
  • At bottom the Internet everything is still very simple. Meshes.
  • Pushing intelligence to the edge will enable unsupervised machine learning.
  • Can put real compute at the edge of the network.
  • Mesh network edge can learn behaviors the designers never though of
  • An appliance can have a different set of offerings.
  • e.g. Dishwasher. Doesn’t have a user Interface but may like to be connected to something with a great UI.
  • How do I build an appliance that manages energy itself in a new way?
  • Ask the house itself how to cut 20 percent energy today
  • The house itself is the collection of distributed compute.
  • This happens if the edge of the network is intelligent.
  • Don’t want 200 services going back to one point in the cloud.
  • Very hack able. Security keeps the homes information where it needs to stay.
  • Everything does not go back to the cloud.
  • Don’t write the driver for the lightbulb. Write code for the best user experience.
  • Don’t write app for light bulb or run the cloud service. Build differentiation.
  • Spread out the app to the physical world around you.


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