The 'Internet of Things' gets new digs

Super data hub Pachube has a new, easier-to-pronounce name and a new focus on social collaboration.

Cosm is the new Pachube -- an open source hub for the Internet of Things. Screenshot by Eric Mack/CNET
The "Internet of Things" has a new and improved switchboard.

Pachube -- basically an API to connect and collect data from all kinds of devices, sensors, and environments worldwide -- yesterday rebranded and relaunched itself as Cosm, with a new focus on collaboration and social elements.

Pachube's founders first envisioned it as a "patch bay" to connect the Internet of Things, but say they've since expanded the vision to be less about "behind-the-scenes infrastructure."

"The idea of the Internet of Things needing a piece of equipment has become less useful than the concept of it involving shared 'workspaces' and 'environments' ('microcosms' and 'macrocosms')," write's Cosm's Usman Haque in a blog post announcing the changes.

Aside from the name change, which Haque repeatedly touts as much easier to pronounce than Pachube, Cosm's improvements include a new user console to monitor data feeds, more real-time data, commenting, and a more sophisticated system to manage into the thousands of devices.

This all comes less than a year after Pachube was acquired by cloud connectivity company LogMeIn last summer. The platform had received some notoriety in the wake of the double natural and nuclear disasters in Japan a few months prior as an ideal tool for keeping an eye on radiation levels following the Fukushima meltdown.

In the interim between being acquired and re-launching, Pachube was also involved in a campaign to build a network of air quality monitors that included a successful Kickstarter campaign to produce and distribute an "Air Quality Egg" -- a funky little sensor system that keeps track of the air at home or businesses and reports the data back to the network to create a broad air quality picture.

So far, Pachube has largely been the realm of the uber-geeky -- the data obsessed, arduino tinkerers and savvy activists -- but the potential for transforming the Internet of Things into a utility we depend on as much as our wireless networks seems clear, especially now that there's a platform with a name we can pronounce.

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