Exploring IPv6: What IPv6 Means For the Internet of Things

Exploring IPv6: What IPv6 Means For the Internet of Things

Imagine a time when your refrigerator will be able to report inventory and let you know when you’re running low on eggs, your flowerpots tweet when they need water, and your thermostats self-regulate. Think you need to wait until the year 2150?

Guess again. These are all examples that have been bandied about in discussions about the Internet of Things, and they could happen sooner than you think.

Ericsson reports the Internet of Things will greatly expand over the next 10 years, projecting that there will be 50 billion Internet connected devices by 2020. Everything from household appliances to vehicles will be connected to the Internet.

However, in order for the Internet of Things to be fully realized, we will need to address the current depletion of IPv4 addresses. The ever-increasing number of connected devices, such as tablets and smartphones, contributes to this depletion, making IPv6 adoption more important now than ever before.

Once IPv4 addresses are exhausted all new growth on the Internet will utilize IPv6 addresses, and every connected device will need to be IPv6 compatible in order to connect to an Internet that will span both address protocols. Developers and device operators must adopt IPv6 to make cross device communication possible, and they need to deploy IPv6 in their product lines from the very beginning of the production process.

This exponentially larger addressing pool will allow connected devices to be used for consumer, medical, retail or even agricultural applications, like managing crop moisture with sensors. The possibilities are endless.

The Internet of Things has the potential to change the future, and it doesn’t stop there. Check back with our Exploring IPv6 blog series next month as we ruminate about what the future of the Internet will look like.

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