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There are a lot of terms that are used in the Web of Things. This page will attempt to gather the definitions of those terms because we need to know what kinds of differentiation are there.

Various IoT Definitions

The IoT(Internet of Things) term has been used from marketing buzz all the way to research publications and conference titles. As that reason, there are so many ways people have been using the term in the wild.

“An infrastructure of interconnected objects, people, systems and information resources together with intelligent services to allow them to process information of the physical and the virtual world and react.”
  • Wikipedia
The Internet of Things (IoT) is the network of physical objects or "things" embedded with electronics, software, sensors and connectivity to enable it to achieve greater value and service by exchanging data with the manufacturer, operator and/or other connected devices. Each thing is uniquely identifiable through its embedded computing system but is able to interoperate within the existing Internet infrastructure.

Definition of "Web of Things"

The WoT(Web of Things) is also on the similar situation. There are a lot of different definitions are used.


The Web of Things includes sensors and actuators, physical objects and locations, and even people. The Web of Things is essentially about the role of Web technologies to facilitate the development of applications and services for things and their virtual representation. Some relevant Web technologies include HTTP for accessing RESTful services, and for naming objects as a basis for linked data and rich descriptions, and JavaScript APIs for virtual objects acting as proxies for real-world objects. Key benefits for doing this work at W3C include the W3C emphasis on ensuring that W3C standards can be implemented royalty free, thereby encouraging innovation, and the availability of the large community of web developers. Standards are needed to realize the economic and human potential, and to avoid the risk of fragmentation cased by a plethora of non-interoperable proprietary solutions. [Source: What is Web of Things]

ITU-T Y.2063

A way to realize the IoT where (physical and virtual) things are connected and controlled through the World Wide Web. [Source: ITU-T Y.2063]

Terms and Definitions

(Web) Resource

  • W3C Web Architecture
Anything that might be identified by a URI. [Source: Architecture of the World Wide Web, Volume One]
The term "resource" is used in a general sense for whatever might be identified by a URI. [Source: rfc3986]

Web agent

  • W3C Web Architecture
A person or a piece of software acting on the information space on behalf of a person, entity, or process. [Source: Architecture of the World Wide Web, Volume One]

User agent

  • W3C Web Architecture
One type of Web agent; a piece of software acting on behalf of a person. [Source: Architecture of the World Wide Web, Volume One]


  • ITU-T Y.2060
With regard to the Internet of things, this is an object of the physical world (physical things) or the information world (virtual things), which is capable of being identified and integrated into communication networks. [Source: ITU-T Y.2060]
  • Techpublic
The "thing" commonly referred to by the concept of the Internet of Things is any item that can contain an embedded, connected computing device. A "thing" in the IoT could be a shipping container with an RFID tag or a consumer's watch with a WiFi chip that sends fitness data or short messages to a server somewhere on the Internet. [Source: 10 things you should know about The Internet of Things]
  • Micrium
The definition of a “Thing” in the Internet of Things varies a lot. I would define a Thing as an embedded computing device (or embedded system) that transmits and receives information over a network for the purpose of controlling another device or interacting with a user. A Thing is also a microcontroller- or microprocessor-based device. The capabilities of these embedded devices have been expanding at the speed of Moore’s law. [Soure: Designing the Internet of Things: Part 2 — The Thing]
  • Morad Stern
Thing means anything - cars, refrigerators and even animals. Anything. [Source: Internet of Things: 6 Basic Things You Should Know]
  • Wikipedia
Things, in the IoT, can refer to a wide variety of devices such as heart monitoring implants, biochip transponders on farm animals, electric clams in coastal waters, automobiles with built-in sensors, or field operation devices that assist fire-fighters in search and rescue. These devices collect useful data with the help of various existing technologies and then autonomously flow the data between other devices. [Source: Internet of Things]


  • Wikipedia
Sensors are devices that measure physical quantities and convert them into signals which can be read by observers or by instruments.
  • Microsoft's WP
The components that translate an observation from the physical world into a digital value. Examples include sensors that are used to measure pressure, humidity, heart rate, gas levels, and acceleration.
A sensor is a component or set of components that is solely involved in measuring environmental information. Often, sensor measuring involves a microcontroller supporting the logic involved in these measurements. However, this microcontroller can be shared between sensors and is therefore considered part of the device. A device combines one or more sensors with processing capability (a microcontroller, or MCU), memory for temporal and sometimes long term storage of information, a means of communication with the outside world, and a power source. [Source: Understanding Internet of Things (IoT) Device Choices]


  • Microsoft's WP
The networked, physical, special-purpose systems that emit telemetry data, potentially accept external information, request external information, and execute remotely issued commands. Examples include factory machine controls, environmental pollution instruments, and automobile telemetry and entertainment systems. [Source: Understanding Internet of Things (IoT) Device Choices]
  • Techtarget
1) In general, a device is a machine designed for a purpose. In a general context, a computer can be considered a device.
2) In the context of computer technology, a device is a unit of hardware , outside or inside the case or housing for the essential computer (processor, memory, and data paths) that is capable of providing input to the essential computer or of receiving output or of both. When the term is used generally (as in computer devices ), it can include keyboards, mouses, display monitors, hard disk drives, CD-ROM players, printers, audio speakers and microphones, and other hardware units. Some devices such as a hard disk drive or a CD-ROM drive, while physically inside the computer housing, are considered devices because they are separately installable and replaceable. With notebook and smaller computers, devices tend to be more physically integrated with the "non-device" part of the computer. [Source: what is a device]
  • Webopedia
Any machine or component that attaches to a computer. Examples of devices include disk drives, printers, mice, and modems. These particular devices fall into the category of peripheral devicesbecause they are separate from the main computer. Most devices, whether peripheral or not, require a program called a device driver that acts as a translator, converting general commands from an application into specific commands that the device understands. [Source: what is device]

IoT Device

  • ITU-T Y.2060
a piece of equipment with the mandatory capabilities of communication and the optional capabilities of sensing, actuation, data capture, data storage and data processing [Source: ITU-T Y.2060]
  • Book : Internet of Things: A Hands-On Approach
a “Thing” in Internet of Things (IoT) can be any object that has a unique identifier and which can send/receive data (including user data) over a network (e.g., smart phone, smart TV, computer, refrigerator, car, etc.).
IoT devices are connected to the Internet and send information about themselves or about their surroundings (e.g. information sensed by the connected sensors) over a network (to other devices or servers/storage) or allow actuation upon the physical entities/environment around them remotely. Some examples of IoT devices are listed below:
  1. A home automation device that allows remotely monitoring the status of appliances and controlling the appliances
  2. An industrial machine which sends information about its operation and health monitoring data to a sever.
  3. A car which sends information about its location to a cloud-based service
  4. A wireless-enabled wearable device that measures data about a person such as the number of steps walked and sends the data to a cloud-based service.
[Source: Google Books]

WoT Device

  • SWOT model
a WoT device is a "Thing" which enabled WoT connectivity. a “Thing” in Web of Things (WoT) can be any object that has a unique identifier and which can send/receive web resources (including information and data) over a network.
WoT devices are connected any devices to the Web and provide information about themselves or about their surroundings (e.g. information sensed by the connected sensors) over a network (to other devices or servers/storage) or allow actuation upon the physical entities/environment around them remotely.

Constrained Devices

Small devices with limited CPU, memory, and power resources, so-called "constrained devices". Constrained devices might be in charge of gathering information in diverse settings, including natural ecosystems, buildings, and factories, and sending the information to one or more server stations. They might also act on information, by performing some physical action, including displaying it. Constrained devices may work under severe resource constraints such as limited battery and computing power, little memory, and insufficient wireless bandwidth and ability to communicate; these constraints often exacerbate each other.
Today, diverse sizes of constrained devices with different resources and capabilities are becoming connected. Mobile personal gadgets, building-automation devices, cellular phones, machine-to-machine (M2M) devices, and other devices benefit from interacting with other "things" nearby or somewhere in the Internet. With this, the Internet of Things (IoT) becomes a reality, built up out of uniquely identifiable and addressable objects (things).
[Source: IETF RFC 7228 - Terminology for Constrained-Node Networks]

Web Server

  • Wikipedia
The primary function of a web server is to store, process and deliver web pages to clients. The communication between client and server takes place using the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP). Pages delivered are most frequently HTML documents, which may include images, style sheets and scripts in addition to text content. A user agent, commonly a web browser or web crawler, initiates communication by making a request for a specific resource using HTTP and the server responds with the content of that resource or an error message if unable to do so. [Source:Wikipedia]

WoT Server

  • SWOT model
WoT Server is a component resident in the WoT device and is the entry point to the WoT Application and Service for all the requests coming from other component. [Source: SWOT model]

WoT Client

  • SWOT model
a logical entity that accesses an WoT Resource on an WoT Server

WoT Functionality

  • SWOT model
the base/core functionality contained in any WoT Device

WoT Resource

  • SWOT model
Anything that might be identified by a URI or IRI.

Thing Description

  • general
describing a thing - interfaces, data and aspects of a Thing

Thing Discovery