Tuesday, May 5, 2009

From the _Internet_ of Things to the _Web_ of Things?

Today, the term Internet of Things finally is pretty established. There is not really single historical root to be found, but its birthplace can be asumed somewhere in the early days of the Auto-ID Center [1] in the vicinity of smart things [2][3], inspired by ubiquitous computing [4] and alike. An important reference you always stumble upon is [5] from ITU - not it is the best source in the field, at least it's very popular and well cited due its publisher the ITU.
There has never been a clear definition or discussion how the Internet of Things differs from Pervasive Computing, Ubiquitous Computing, Smart Things, Ambient Intelligence etc. - all areas have many, and undefined, communalities and overlaps. Also, in the end it does not really matter, in a few decades historians may look back and come up with clear definitions in retro-spect.

What the internet is really about, as the first conference has set out in 2008 [6], is the "expansion of the internet into the real world". This "new" internet can be build upon the backbone of internet technology as suggested by [3] or [7] using DNS, TCP etc.. Just recently, one can realize another term getting established - Web of Things (good overview here [8]) - which views the very same phenomenon of expansion from a more high-level perspective of applying web technologies to controlling embedded devices and appliances by URI, HTTP, REST, RSS, etc.
Honestly, I haven't quite understood the difference between Internet of Things and Web of Things, perhaps there isn't really one except the ownership of terms;)
Anyway, let's just move on, build stuff, develop meaningful apps and let's not worry to much about how to name them. And yes, gee, I forgot, there is of course also the Web2.0 which emerges in to the real world as well being called Web3.0 then...

[1] Toward a Global "Internet of Things", http://java.sun.com/developer/technicalArticles/Ecommerce/rfid/
[2] Neil Gershenfeld, Raffi Krikorian, Danny Cohen: Internet 0: Interdevice Internetworking, Scientific American, 2004
[3] Neil A. Gershenfeld: When things start to think, Henry Holt, 2000 (reprint)
[4] Marc Weiser: The Computer for the 21st Century" - Scientific American Special Issue on Communications, Computers, and Networks, September, 1991
[5] ITU Internet Reports 2005: The Internet of Things
[6] Internet of Things 2008. International Conference for Industry and Academia March 26-28, 2008 / Zurich
[7] EPCglobal, The EPCglobal Architecture Framework, Version 1.3, Jan 2009
[8] Dave Raggett: Towards the Web of Things, W3C, September 2007

1 comment:

misterdom said...

On this topic, people might also want to check the webofthings blog, right?

The Web of Things Community Blog