Yoics is a startup with a cloud service that connects and networks devices to the cloud. It sounds simple enough but realistically the complexity in connecting devices individually into a network of shared features shows how primitive the general cloud is in its present form.
Yoics, which this week received $1 million in a CrunchFund lead investment, is a service that provides accesss directly at the core TCP service level to provide a "service level virtual private network." It provides access for developers to their devices and apps, but also the ability to 'virtualize' various elements of the products so unique access can be provided. The Yoics API allows networked devices to be connected to or shared like any web service, while maintaining privacy and security for users.
Yoics abstracts the physical device itself to make distinct features available such as a the camera on a laptop or a smartphone. For Yoics, the cloud serves as a hub that it uses to layer services.
Yoics automates the manual work it would normally take to manage devices. The virtualization aspect to this is key here. Most remote management services access the entire device, not discreet features.
Yoics explains the complexity this way:
In a world where everything is connected to the Internet, it is actually hard to network various devices to one another. This is especially true for the various silos of LAN and mobile devices from various makers. To make a device on a LAN remotely accessible requires the network router to be configured to open a port and for the remote user to know the (static) IP address and port number to access it. This type of complex configuration is typically beyond the skill set of most consumers and also creates a security vulnerability that can be exploited by a variety of threats.
Yoics hits on a huge problem. The gap between device manufacturers is enormous. Each smartphone maker has different ways they configure their devices. Further, the cloud in its current form is not meant to accommodate networking between devices and their respective features.
And it's why the definition of that space between the cloud and everything else represents one of the biggest opportunities for the new year and well beyond.
Here's why. Everything is getting connected. Cars, houses, and any device imaginable will soon have the ability to connect with one another. But those devices have to connect via the cloud, each with its own metaphorical "string," that ties into giant data networks that share all that data through any kind of app imaginable. These data networks allow us to send email and chat over Facebook. But that's a pretty basic form of communication. All the communication gets centralized.
But the devices will increasingly need their own networks to communicate with each other in a secure way. Yoics does this by providing the naming, discovery and management of all the secure peer-to-peer connections between people and their devices or device to device.
The Internet of Things promises a world of deep connectivity. But what do we want connected? Do we want our entire homes connected to a network where everything can be viewed? In some cases this will make sense but more so it will be more about people having the capability to access the front door, the kid's bedroom or the shelter for the outdoor cats. Security is essential, as you can imagine. There are all kinds of holes that can open up without the correct configurations.
Yoics is banking on its security capabilities to serve a market that wants access to devices in discrete ways. For now they have leverage. To maintain it, Yoics is opening its API to developers.
But Yoics also represents something else. A future that will demand a far more sophisticated cloud that serves as more of a stack of thin and thick middleware type environments that provide us with access and control o all the discreet and subtle aspects of everything we know and understand.