Podcast: The history of the internet of things includes a Swedish hockey team and LEGOs

Thirteen years ago Adam Dunkels was trying to hook up a hockey team in Lulea, Sweden with sensors and cameras so coaches and fans could track helmet cams and players’ vital signs. It was an academic project but it was also an early example of the internet of things. The project was doomed to fail for a variety of reasons, but out of that experience came a lightweight code for connecting devices called Lightweight IP.

A later version of that code became the base for LEGO Mindstorms and a variety of other connected projects. But Dunkels realized that to truly build a platform for connected devices he needed even lighter weight code. So he built Contiki, an operating system of sorts of the internet of things. And now he’s commercializing all that he’s learned in a startup called ThingSquare. In the podcast we discuss the history of the internet of things and when we reached the tipping point that made the internet of things inevitable.

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Show notes:
Host: Stacey Higginbotham
Guest: Adam Dunkels, chairman, co-founder and chief architect of ThingSquare

  • How connecting a hockey team in 2000 helped him learn what the internet of things needed.
  • Why he build LWIP, microIP and later Contiki as an OS for the internet of things.
  • The factors that led to a tipping point for the internet of things.
  • Dunkels tells me to stop looking at the future and to pay attention to the present. Because the internet of things is here today.


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