The Identity of Things – Every Thing is Unique.

Things, like people, have identities. Even some lego sets now have unique identifiers on every piece. One of the most interesting aspects of the current disruption in identity management, driven by cloud and SaaS adoption, is the question of identity management at vast scale – when we get beyond authenticating people, and into authenticating devices.

What happens when your toothbrush has a unique identifier? That’s the interesting question posed by Marc Benioff in this AllThingsD piece.

To meet the demands of consumers discontented with mere bristles on a stick, Benioff said Phillips was developing a toothbrush with GPS, Wi-Fi and “realtime feedback on how I brush my teeth. When I see the dentist and he asks, ‘Marc, have you been brushing?’ I can’t lie to the dentist anymore. He’s got all the data.”

Well that’s certainly a different take on hygiene factors. I have written before about’s identity management play, and homed in on internet of things thus:

Unique IDs are not just for humans – machines need them to, and Salesforce is building momentum with companies like GE, which are network enabling their devices such as Wind Turbines, engines and medical equipment. The Internet of Things will require a strong identity management underpinning.

Having been meaning to write a post about identity as a theme for ThingMonk it was interesting to see a new company follow me on twitter called Brivo Labs. The firm seems to be riding all sorts of disruptions, and calls what it does Social Access Management

Social Access Management provides contextual security and access control that fits the way we live today. It’s managing your everyday access needs using social and business networks to interact with buildings, businesses and public places.

Having misplaced my keys today the idea sounds pretty useful! As co-founder of a coworking and event space business with more than a hundred members, even more so. ;-)

Maybe we should try and and hack together a new door entry system for the Village Hall during the ThingMonk IoT hands on session.

Of course Philips doesn’t just want every toothbrush to have an ID – it wants lightbulbs to be social too…

You should buy a ticket for the conference here.

Leave a Reply