W3C Plans for Developing Standards for Open Markets of Services for the IoT: The Internet of Things (Ubiquity symposium)
by Dave Raggett
The Internet of Things (IoT) is being held back by divergent approaches that result in data silos, high costs, investment risks and reduced market opportunities. To realize the potential and unleash the network effect, W3C is focusing on the role of Web technologies for a platform of platforms as a basis for services spanning IoT platforms from microcontrollers to cloud-based server farms. Shared semantics are essential for discovery, interoperability, scaling and layering on top of existing protocols and platforms. For this purpose, metadata can be classified into: things, security, and communications, where things are considered to be virtual representations (software objects) for physical or abstract entities. Thing descriptions are modeled in terms of W3C's resource description framework (RDF). This includes the semantics for what kind of thing it is, and the data models for its events, properties and actions. The underlying protocols are free to use whichever communication patterns are appropriate to the context according to the constraints described by the given metadata. W3C is exploring the use of lightweight representations of metadata that are easy to author and process, even on resource constrained devices. The aim is to evolve the web from a web of pages to a "Web of Things."