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HP Labs at Discover Barcelona 2014 – Jaap Suermondt on unlocking the value of the Internet of Things


Contributed by Simon Firth, freelance technology journalist




Jaap-thumbnail.jpgHow do we create a computing architecture able to deliver the full potential of the Internet of Things?


“The answer can’t be that we just build a bigger and faster cloud,” suggests Jaap Suermondt, director of HP’s Analytics Lab.  


In a presentation at HP Discover 2014 Barcelona on December 3rd titled, “Unlocking the value of the Internet of Things: HP Labs on Big Data and Distributed Mesh Computing,” Suermondt will outline how a new fundamental architecture for computers being developed at HP Labs and dubbed The Machine offers a more promising path to deriving value from a world flooded with data.


The Machine is built around advances in non-volatile memory and storage technologies, new System-on-a-Chip processors, and a new approach to networking. Crucially, it will also enable a new generation of lightweight devices with large processing power and memory-like storage, but that are low cost and use very little energy.


“Already, we are getting to a point where almost any physical, business, or interpersonal action can be captured and analyzed in digital form,” Suermondt argues. “The Machine changes the game in terms of storing and taking action on data. Placing all that data in one vast data lake owned by third parties to analyze becomes unnecessary. Instead, our model lets us bring the analysis – and ownership – of the actionable information we derive from data back down to the local level.”


Only when a local system has a query it can’t answer will it turn to other systems. And when it does, it reveals only what’s needed to get a useful answer. The result is a mesh of systems that each offer answers faster, and more reliably, while maximizing security and retaining local control.


Suermondt and his HP Labs colleagues have dubbed this Distributed Mesh Computing and his talk will elucidate some of the many opportunities that open up with this approach - in equipment monitoring and the energy sector, for example, or in smart buildings and transportation.


In a world where data is ubiquitous and easily accessed, the real value of information will derive from making computers good at what people can’t do and allowing people to do what they do best, adds Suermondt. “What we want from the Internet of Things is to do more than monitor everything from the cloud,” he suggests. “We want help discovering opportunities and issues that we didn’t even know were there. We think Distributed Mesh Computing will let us do that.”


Discover attendees can hear Suermondt’s talk on Wednesday, December 3rd, from 12:30 to 01:00 PM in the Discover Theater 5.6, Hall 5. 


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It will be interesting to note how Jaap Suermondt precisely proposes to promote the IoT from a monitoring system to one assisting in human discovery as based on the Distributed Mesh Computing concept.

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