February 18, 2015

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The Vision of Internet of Things and the Path Forward

The term 'Internet of Things' (IoT) has been used from marketing to research publications and conference titles. I thought it would be helpful to throw a little light on the history of IoT and the vision that the world has for the use of this term.

The world of the Internet of Things consists of a planet where billions of objects can sense, communicate and inter-connectedly share information with each other over public or private Internet Protocol (IP) networks. These interconnected objects have data regularly collected, analyzed and utilized to initiate action, providing a wealth of intelligence for planning, management and decision making.

The vision of the Future Internet based on standard communication protocols considers merging of computer networks, Internet of Media (IoM), Internet of Services (IoS), and Internet of Things (IoT) into a common global IT platform of connected networks and networked “things”.

IoS is a software-based component that will be delivered via different networks and the Internet. Research on SOA, Web/Enterprise 3.0/X.0, Enterprise Interoperability, Service Web, Grid Services and Semantic Web will address important bits of the IoS puzzle, while improving cooperation between service providers and consumers.

IoM will provide a solution in scalable video coding and 3D video processing, dynamically adapted to network conditions that will give rise to innovative applications such as massive multiplayer mobile games, digital cinema, and in the virtual world, it will place new types of traffic demands on mobile network architectures.

This future network of networks will be laid out as public/private infrastructures and will be dynamically extended and improved by edge points created by the “things” connecting one another. There will be a lot of communications among terminals and data centers (e.g. home data centers, cloud computing, etc.) than among nodes, as in current networks. The low cost of storage capacity will result in the local availability of most information required by people or objects. This, together with enhanced processing capabilities and seamless connectivity, will make terminals play a main role in communications.

Terminals will be able to create local communication networks and may serve as a bridge between them; thus expanding the overall infrastructure capacity particularly in urban environments. This will likely determine a different view of network architectures. The Future Internet will exhibit high levels of heterogeneity (“things” – physical/real, cyber physical, web enabled, digital and virtual, devices and device models, communication protocols, cognitive capabilities, etc.), as totally different things in terms of functionality, and technology and application fields are expected to belong to the same communication environment.

The Internet of Things will create a dynamic network of billions of wireless identifiable “things” communicating with one another and integrating the developments from concepts like Pervasive Computing, Ubiquitous Computing and Ambient Intelligence. Internet of Things hosts the vision of ubiquitous computing and ambient intelligence, enhancing them by requiring a full communication and a complete computing capability among things, and integrating the elements of continuous communication, identification and interaction. The Internet of Things fuses the digital world and the physical world by bringing different concepts and technical components together: pervasive networks, miniaturization of devices, mobile communication, and new models for business processes.

Reference

Internet of Things, Strategic Research Roadmap by Antoine de Saint-Exupery