Being at the Advanced Energy Conference 2013. I started to use the term chattering things or chatty things this is a very good abstract view of whats happening in the Internet of Things world.
The billion devices that is to be connected will in classical way be connected to private clouds which is just somewhat better than the old legacy, proprietary protocols. We are getting an exploding number of slightly different web api’s. Creating new web mashup services will therefor never happen since you need to support so many protocols.
The solution is to leverage the instant message paradigm and the XMPP.org standard. To be used by all things letting them chat with each other. A sensor can be friend with an actuator regardless of its origin or business domain. A humidity sensor in an alarm system could then easily be connected to the ventilation system.
When these chattering things are available in an interoperable way there truly is a possibility for real smart energy services to happen without the need of adding more hardware. You just let the sensor doing a friend request to the energy service. The just let them start chitchatting.