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Web of Things

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Catalogue Entry – Web of Things DRAFT


Web of Things


Categorization and Tags:

Web of Things, Internet of Things, RFID


The Web of Things is a concept which is basically an evolution of the Internet of Things. For the Internet of Things many different definitions exist. It is commonly understood as an Internet-like structure consisting of uniquely identifiable objects (things) and their virtual representation, though [HAL10]. They main difference is that Internet of Things is not based upon any specific standard in contrast to Web of Things. Rather than the concern of how to connect things at the network layer, the Web of Things is about employing well-accepted standards such as URI, HTTP, REST etc. Giving objects a proper API should facilitate the creation of virtual representations, the integration process and ease of reuse in different kinds of applications [FOR11]. Things in the context of Web of Things or Internet of Things can be defined as real/physical or digital/virtual entities. They are usually identified either by identification numbers, names and/or locations. In the early beginning RFID was seen as prerequisite for the Web/Internet of Things, but identification can be established using various other technologies as well. Well-known examples are NFC, barcodes, QR codes, digital water-marking [VER11] or the upcoming Bluetooth-based iBeacon [CAV13]. Web of Things is expected to be the next revolution after the original internet and the mobile internet. It can be regarded as an extension of the commonly existing interaction between humans and application through the new dimension of “Things”. Experts envisage that it will allow humans and things to get connected at anytime, anyplace, with anything and anyone through standardized APIs ensuring the compatibility to a broad variety of devices, platform or “things” in general.

Background and State-of-the-art:

Today the many different application areas already exist and new areas will be discovered rapidly. Generally speaking WoT or IoT can be used whenever devices or rather things need to be monitored and a local approach is either inconvenient, cost-expensive or even not possible. WoT makes it possible to track, communicate to and monitor vehicles of every kind equip buildings and other structures to monitor their status and trigger actions. It can also be applied in the context of health care, independent living and medical technology, but also for safety, security and privacy applications. Industry uses it for manufacturing, product lifecycle management and the food sector in particular for food traceability, agriculture and breeding. Environment monitoring, people and goods transportation, insurance and recycling are other application areas. Also the entertainment sector is already using IoT and WoT. According to prognostics it is expected that 50 to 100 billion devices or rather things will be connected via a global Web/Internet of Things by 2020 [SUN10].


A key issue which needs to be considered is that the representation of, the access to and the interaction between objects in the Web of Things works in a standardized way, which was a paramount focus of Web of Things compared to Internet of Things. Therefore, standardized APIs, technologies and methods in general need to be established. This is where the Web of Things comes into play which is a necessary step in the right direction using today’s well-accepted standards. Nevertheless, it is of utmost importance to maintain, adapted and probably replace currently working standards in the future to meet future requirements which cannot be foreseen nowadays [VER12]. Still, using a consistent API does not necessarily ensure the compatibility between all devices; therefore standardization needs to be considered at multiple layers. Dealing with complexity and reacting and adapting to new trends is considered to be a major challenge where standardization is key to preserve a manageable and maintainable environment of virtual representations and prevent uncontrolled growth of a heterogeneous set of incompatible pieces [GUO11]. Besides challenges, the Web of Things offers huge opportunities for people with disabilities. As for many persons with disabilities mobility is an issue, digital and virtual representations of objects can offer a channel for interaction even though physical presence would not be easily possible. Besides, people with sensory impairment often suffer from limited perception capabilities where the Web of Things can offer information in a multimodal way to overcome these limitations and represent the content in an accessible way. Again, standardization is key and cornerstone to provide an adequate level of accessibility within an affordable amount of work necessary to generate proper equivalents of content for different channels of perception [MIE14]. Still accessibility needs to be considered from the very beginning to prevent compromise solutions and unnecessary overhead to handle half-balked solution. One channel to present additional information offered by a Web of Things to people with disabilities is Augmented Reality. As Augmented Reality deals with providing an overlay to the perceived reality, the Web of Things can act as major source for Augmented Reality or rather one key layer of it. It can provide additional information to various objects which are identifiable within the Internet of Things, like descriptions, up-to-date status information etc. Therefore, the Web of Things is expected to be an important enrichment to common augmented reality application scenarios and can also greatly contribute to support people with disabilities, where additional information about objects would otherwise be hard to acquire [SUN10].

Research Goals:


  • Prioritized list of issues to be addressed
  • Indicative timeline (short/middle/long term)
  • Methodological considerations (e.g. studies, guidelines, standards, prototypes, experiments, implementation, dissemination, market penetration, education)

Issues to be addressed

  • What are the challenges to ensure that the Web of Things will be an accessible technology or even a revolutionary basis for future ATs?
  • How can people with disabilities benefit from the Web of Things?
  • Which opportunities arise from a commonly accepted and used Web of Things?
  • Which opportunities arise from a commonly accepted and used Web of Things for people with disabilities?
  • Which issues need to be considered in terms of accessibility?
  • Which issues need to be considered in terms of standardization?
  • Which issues need to be considered in terms of privacy and security?
  • How could people suffering from sensory impairment benefit from the Internet of Things in particular?
  • How could people with limited mobility benefit from the Web of Things in particular?


  1. [CAV13]Andy Cavallini, iBeacons Bible, 2013
  2. [FOR11]Carolina Fortuna and Marko Grobelnik, Tutorial: The Web of Things, Proceedings of the World Wide Web Conference 2011, 2011
  3. [GUO11]Bin Guo and Daqing Zhang and Zhu Wang, Living with Internet of Things: The Emergence of Embedded Intelligence, Internet of Things (iThings/CPSCom), 2011 International Conference on and 4th International Conference on Cyber, Physical and Social Computing, 2011
  4. [HAL10]Stephan Haller, The Things in the Internet of Things, Internet of Things Conference 2010, 2010
  5. [MIE14]Klaus Miesenberger and Gerhard Nussbaum and Roland Ossmann, AsTeRICS: A Framework for Including Sensor Technology into AT Solutions for People with Motor Disabilities, IGI Global, 2014
  6. [SUN10]Harald Sundmaeker and Patrick Guillemin and Peter Friess and Sylvie Woelfflé, Vision and Challenges for Realising the Internet of Things, 2010
  7. [VER11]Dan Verhaeghe, From M2M to The Internet of Things: Viewpoints From Europe, 2011
  8. [VER12]Ovidiu Vermesan and Peter Friess and Patrick Guillemin and Sergio Gusmeroli and Harald Sundmaeker and Alessandro Bassi and Ignacio Soler Jubert and Margaretha Mazura and Mark Harrison and Markus Eisenhauer and Pat Doody, Internet of Things Strategic Research Roadmap, 2012
  9. [VER09]Ovidiu Vermesan and Mark Harrison and Harald Vogt and Kostas Kalaboukas and Maurizio Tomasella and Karel Wouters and Sergio Gusmeroli and Stephan Haller, Internet of Things - Strategic Research Roadmap, 2009