W3C Web of Things IG meeting in Montréal, 11-13 April 2016

We travelled to Canada for meetings hosted by the Université du Québec à Montréal. A few of us turned up early on Sunday afternoon to prepare for the plugfest. The main face to face meeting, started on Monday 11th April. In the morning we had presentatons: Dave Raggett (W3C) kicked off with a context setting introduction. Soumya Kanti Datta (EURECOM) described work on horizontal IoT application development using Semantic Web technologies. Joao Sousa (Bosch) introduced the BEZIRK Platform. Dave reported his progress with implementation work on web of things servers and gateways. We then heard from Takuki Kamiya (Fujitsu) & Daniel Peintner (Siemens) talked to us about efficient encoding of messages using EXI (Part1 | Part2). After lunch we heard from Michael Koster (Smartthings). Matthias, Kajimoto-san, Sebastian, Johannes talked to us about getting started with a WoT project. Ian Skerrett then presented Eclipse IoT: Open Source Building Blocks for IoT Developers. After the plugfest demos, we enjoyed the group dinner at a Brazilian restaurant.

The next two days featured sessions on our current work items, and plans for outreach, and chartering a Web of Things Working Group. Our break out sessions included one on architecture, one on Bluetooth Smart and one on discovery. On Thursday, several of us took part in the W3C Track at the WWW 2016 Web Conference. The afternoon was devoted to the Web of Things session. We had talks by Dave Raggett (W3C), Johannes Hund (Siemens), Lionel Médini (LIRIS Lab, University of Lyon), Michael Cooper (W3C), Louay Bassbouss (Frauhnofer FOKUS), Sebastian Kaebisch (Siemens), Frank Alexander Reusch (Lemonbeat GmbH), Soumya Kanti Datta (EURECOM) and Claudio Venezia (Telecom Italia).
Group photo from Montreal face to face

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W3C Web of Things Interest Group Face-to-Face Meeting in EURECOM

The Web of Things Interest Group met in Sophia Antipolis, France on 25-28 January 2016, hosted by Eurecom. This started with a plugfest, which is now a regular feature of our face to face meetings. There were four proposed tracks of implementations security, APIs, thing registry and HATEOAS. This event attracted more than 20 implementations including remote participations. A highlight was a demo remotely controlling an air conditioner in Osaka, Japan.

The 26th was devoted to an open day with a variety of presentations. In the morning Johannes Hund from Siemens talked about WoT – exploring the physical world and Dave Raggett from W3C talked about the benefits WoT can bring in manufacturing world creating smart manufacturing. Soumya Kanti Datta from Eurecom described how WoT can assist vehicles to be a part of the constantly growing ecosystem of IoT. Victor Charpenay from Siemens and Louay Bassbouss and Fraunhofer FOKUS shared their insights on Resource-based µRDF Store for T2T Interactions and Implementation of Thing API for HomeKit.

In the afternoon, Matthias Kovatsch from Siemens gave an overview of HATEOAS approaches. Martin Bauer from NEC and Omar Elloumi from Nokia described the semantics in oneM2M. This followed on from the ETSI M2M Workshop in Sophia Antipolis in 2015, where Dave and Soumya had presented the W3C related work. Omar returned the favour by talking to us about his interest in further collaboration between oneM2M and the W3C WoT IG.

The next two days featured detailed discussions on our current work items with break out sessions for each of the four technical task forces.

Plugfest preparation on Jan 25 group photo on Eurecom steps

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W3C Web of Things Interest Group meeting in Sophia Antipolis, France

Eurecom logo The Web of Things Interest Group will meet in Sophia Antipolis France on 25-28 January 2016, hosted by Eurecom. The first day will feature a plug fest as part of the group’s focus on sharing implementation experience. The second day will be an open day. The last two days are devoted to progressing Interest Group work items, including the preparation of a charter for a Web of Things Working Group, that we hope to launch in the first half of 2016. If you would like to participate in the plugfest or the open day, please contact Soumya Kanti Datta, who says:

EURECOM is very proud to welcome the participants that are preparing tomorrows’ standards for truly enabled Web of Things

For more information see the 4th IG meeting wiki page.

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From a world-wide web of pages to a world-wide web of things – interoperability for connected devices

Logo for Industry of Things World USA conference W3C is seeking to unlock the potential of the Internet of Things and reduce its fragmentation. Jeff Jaffe (W3C CEO) will give a keynote at the Industry of Things World USA conference in San Diego on 25 February 2016.

He will explain how W3C is focusing on simplifying application development through a platform of platforms that integrates existing standards to reduce costs and enable open markets of services. W3C is bringing people together to work on the challenges posed by discovery, composition and monetization of services, along with security, privacy and resilience in the face of faults and cyber attacks. Jeff will further explain how W3C is addressing scaling across devices, platforms, and application domains, including the challenges involved in web scale services. He will describe the need for collaboration across industry alliances and standards development organizations and the steps that W3C is taking to achieve this.

We look forward to connecting with the Industrial Internet experts at IoTW USA 2016, to challenge current thinking, share best practices, talk about future developments and latest innovations, and we hope to meet you there. W3C Members will receive a discount on the event ticket price.

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W3C Web of Things Interest Group meeting in Sapporo, Japan

The Web of Things Interest Group met in Sapporo, Japan on 29-30 October 2015 as part of W3C’s annual week of meetings (TPAC). We listened to status reports and plans for each of the four existing task forces: Thing Descriptions, APIs & Protocols, Discovery & Privacy, and Security, Privacy and Resilience. These task forces are conducting technology landscape surveys and plan to publish these as Interest Group reports early in 2016. TPAC provided a great opportunity for an exchange of ideas across W3C groups. Tobi Langel talked to us about the work of the Device APIs WG on the Generic Sensor API. We also had joint sessions with the Automotive IG and new Spatial Data on the Web WG. We heard ideas from the MozOpenHard Project on browser APIs for access to low level capabilities (WebGPIO and WebI2C). Fraunhofer FOKUS presented work on a discovery API inspired by the Presentation API. RWE talked about discovery, configuration and working of Lemonbeat-Devices. Samsung introduced their “Things Web”.

A high point of the meeting was the plugfest. We had some 8 implementations, many of which focused on the RGB lamp use case that was agreed in advance. We want to hold another plugfest at our next face to face in January 2016, where we plan to cover security capabilities. After an evening dinner at the Sapporo Beer Garden, we continued the next day with a summary of the results of the plugfest, followed by break out sessions for each of the task forces. We also agreed to launch a new task force to focus on communications and outreach, including collaborations with IoT industry alliances and standards development organisations. We’re continuing to work on plans for chartering a W3C Web of Things Working Group in 2016.

Several of us then traveled on to Yokohama for a joint W3C Web of Things IG and the IRTF Thing to Thing Research Group meeting. There we discussed the aims of the T2TRG which is about to get a charter, and we split into task forces, one focusing on boot strapping security for IoT devices, and the other on REST and a study by Ari Keränen on RESTful design for the IoT. There was enthusiasm for continued dialogue between the WoT IG and the T2TRG, and we will now explore opportunities for joint plugfests in 2016.

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W3C and IIC sign liaison agreement for the Industrial Internet of Things

W3C is seeking to address the current fragmentation and data silos in the Internet of Things by exposing IoT platforms through the Web for a Web of Things. Interoperability will be based upon rich metadata and shared semantics, with services running on a wide range of platforms from microcontrollers to cloud-based server farms. Our aim is to enable open markets of services at a Web scale, with a consequent reduction of costs and expansion of business opportunities.

There are many application domains for the Web of Things, including smart industry.  The Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) seeks to bring together the organizations and technologies necessary to accelerate growth of the Industrial Internet by identifying, assembling and promoting best practices. The IIC and W3C have signed a liaison agreement to collaborate on realising the potential for the Industrial Internet.

This includes sharing use cases, requirements and emerging frameworks for consideration in joint work, for W3C to consider the IIC requirements and architectures, and likewise for for W3C Recommendations to be considered in IIC deliverables. This agreement is a sign of the growing importance of the Web for transforming industry practices.

W3C Web of Things Interest Group meeting in Sunnyvale, California

The Web of Things Interest Group will meet in Sunnyvale, California, on 29-31 July 2015, hosted by Fujitsu. This will be our second face to face meeting this year. We plan to discuss progress on use cases and requirements for realising the vision of the Web of Things as a means to connect different IoT platforms via the Web and enable a global market of services. We will review a draft charter for the proposed W3C Working Group on the Web of Things, that we hope to launch later this year.

The Web of Things Working Group will have the objective of standardizing core metadata for the Web of Things Framework, along with APIs and bindings to protocols such as HTTP, Web Sockets, CoAP, MQTT and XMPP. The aim is to provide open standards for discovery and interoperability of services on a world wide basis.

Interest Group members should register for the Sunnyvale meeting as soon as possible. We also have space for a limited number of invited guests, for people who are interested in joining the Interest Group and finding more about its activities. More details of the meeting are on the IG wiki.

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Building the Web of Things

The Internet of Things (IoT) is regularly in the news, and we’re expecting there to be something like one hundred billion IoT devices within ten years. The promise of innovative new services and efficiency savings are fueling interest in a wide range of potential applications across many sectors including smart homes, healthcare, smart grids, smart cities, retail, and smart industry. Currently there is a lot of activity, but it is occurring in isolation, resulting in product silos and incompatible platforms. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is seeking to change that through work on global standards for using web technologies that bridge IoT platforms through the Web, based upon a new class of Web servers. The Internet provides a basis for connecting systems, but like the phone system, it is not useful unless people are speaking in the same language. W3C proposes a conceptual framework with shared semantics and data formats as the basis for interoperability.

This starts with virtual “things” as proxies for physical and abstract entities that are described in terms of metadata, events, properties and actions, along with REST bindings to popular protocols, such as HTTP, Web Sockets, CoAP, MQTT and XMPP. Servers for the Web of Things will be available for microcontrollers, smart phones, home hubs and cloud based server farms. Larger servers will support a range of scripting languages, whilst smaller servers could use precompiled behaviours. There is also increasing interest in enabling end user service creation based upon event-condition-action rules with graphical editing tools and cloud based processing of vocal commands such as “turn down the heating when I leave home”.

The Web of Things Framework allows for distributed control, with control located where appropriate, and the promise of precise synchronisation of behaviour where needed, e.g. for factory robots and process control. The use of Web technologies is expected to dramatically reduce the cost for implementing and deploying IoT services. Companies will be able to realise savings in operational costs, but just as important, companies will have increased flexibility for rapidly reconfiguring manufacturing processes, and a reduction in time from design to shipping of new products. This will enable a shift from mass production to bespoke production where products are tailored to each customer’s specific needs. I am very much looking forward to talking about this at the Industry of Things World this September in Berlin.

There are many existing IoT technologies that serve different requirements and new technologies appear frequently. This necessitates an adaptation layer to bridge to the Web of Things Framework, and decouples services from the details of how devices are connected. This is crucial to building robust systems that are resilient to changes at lower layers. Security and privacy are important topics, and can be challenging for constrained devices. W3C expects to work closely with the IETF and other organisations on bindings to protocols and best practices for end to end security. To manage privacy, data owners will be able to control who can access their data and for what purposes.

With the success of open source software and the advent of open hardware, there is a huge opportunity for hobbyists and members of the “maker” community to get involved and help build momentum around open standards for the Web of Things. It is now possible to build your own IoT services for a few dollars, and I am looking for volunteers to help with developing open source Web of Things servers on a range of scales from microcontrollers, to cloud-based server farms. Working together, we can build strong standards based upon sharing our practical experience of developing services for the Web of Things.

W3C has recently formed the Web of Things Interest Group and plans to launch a Working Group in late 2015 to standardise the Web of Things Framework. We are very interested in understanding use cases and requirements across business sectors, so please join us to help drive the Web to a whole new level!

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Gathering Use Cases across Application Domains

The Web of Things Interest Group is gathering use cases and is seeking your help to ensure that we get plenty of examples across a wide rage of application domains. Use cases are valuable as a way of grounding technical discussions on functional requirements and solutions. The survey of use cases will feed into our study of the technology landscape, and into future standards track work we hope to initiate later this year.

We are looking for narratives written from a user perspective along with a brief answers to the following questions:

  1. What is the user motivation for the use case
  2. How does this translate to a technical description
  3. What application domains are related
  4. What are the interaction patterns
  5. Which aspects are not considered

We are also seeking feedback on a draft taxonomy of applications and welcome suggestions for improvements and additional categories.  For more information, see our wiki page on use cases across application domains.

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Getting started

Joerg Heuer is one of the Chairs for the Web of Things Interest Group. He writes:

Thanks for your support and feedback to Daves poll. By your answer some of you already took the opportunity to briefly introduce yourself. I think this is for the start of the IG a good practice:

My name is Joerg Heuer. Some of you I might already have met at the WoT workshop in last summer in Berlin. I am responsible for embedded networks within Siemens Corporate Technology. The WoT trigger was set in our team by different cross domain applications in the fields of smart grid, electric mobility and automation. So we started to work with web technologies in embedded networks for pilot implementations. The discussions in the recent months have shown that there are quite different views on that elephant called WoT and I look forward to further discuss the understanding of WoT in the starting IG.

To start the work in the IG it seems to be most practical to have some initial calls. Based on your comments it seems most appropriate to setup a sequence of two separate calls at least in the initialization phase of the WoT IG up to the first F2F. So the concrete proposal would be:

Starting with the 24th of February every Tuesday in
Group GMT+X: the odd weeks have a call at 09:00 – 10:00 GMT (stating with 24th February, biweekly) and
Group GMT-X: the even weeks have a call** at 17:00 – 18:00 GMT (starting with 3rd of March, biweekly).

** Note: this was originally one hour later and we moved it following feedback from IG participants.

It is clear that this approach is not balanced. But taking the limited number of calls until a first F2F under account this approach enables all to participate and have at least only two groups in parallel which might make an initialization easier.

1. What do you think of the two group approach? Is it feasible?
2. Is Tuesday acceptable? At least it avoids Monday and Friday as mentioned in the replies.

Please send your comments to the public list.