Tutorial 2 (AM)
Networked Appliances: The Next Wave of Computing?

Stan Moyer

Telcordia Technologies, USA
Email: stanm@research.telcordia.com


As computing power becomes more ubiquitous we can reasonably expect it to move from desktop behemoths down to the individual gadgets that already fill our lives - the networked toaster has long been used as an example of the kind of device that might receive network functionality in the fullness of time, but prior to that the TV Remote, the HiFi or the Central Heating/Air Conditioning systems are all better candidates for the addition of network functionality.

While the utility of adding a network connection to a toaster might reasonably be called into question there could be significant advantages from having many devices in your home connected together - burglar alarms that can use your house lighting system, home entertainment systems that can co-ordinate with your curtains or perhaps something as simple as being able to query the electricity, water or gas consumption of your home and the devices in it are all interesting and compelling applications of this kind of technology.

This tutorial will answer the question of what is a Networked Appliance and will go on to give use cases and practical examples of where we might typically expect to find them. It will then go on to discuss the constraints and capabilities of the early devices that we see in the market today, highlighting the limitations of the technology that is available. It will then discuss the work that is progressing to address some of these limitations in many fora including the OSGi, IETF and other places, with specific examples of how technologies such as SIP for Appliances can be applied to the problems we foresee before concluding with a vision of a possible future with multiple, integrated, devices in a hetrogeneous network environment communicating and interworking seamlessly with the other devices around them.


Stan Moyer is the Strategic Research Program Manager of the Applied Research organization of Telcordia Technologies. He was previously Director of the Internet Service Infrastructure Research Group in the Internet Service Management Research Department of the Internet Architecture Research Laboratory. His main research focus is currently Home Networking and Networked (a.k.a. Internet or IP) Appliances - specifically understanding the issues and network requirements associated with this new breed of end device.

Stan was one of the founders of the Networked Appliance movement and has been heavily involved in the development of the field. He is currently the co-editor of the IEEE Communications Magazine special series on Home Networking and actively participates in a number of initiatives in the field.