W3C Begins Standards Work on Web of Things to Reduce IoT Fragmentation

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Goal to encourage growth of market for IoT devices and services

https://www.w3.org/ — 24 February 2017 — The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the global standards organization for the Web, has launched a new Working Group to develop initial standards for the Web of Things. The goals of the Web of Things Working Group are to counter the fragmentation of the IoT; reduce the costs of development; lessen the risks to both investors and customers; and to encourage exponential growth in the market for IoT devices and services.

In advance of W3C's presence at Mobile World Congress 2017 next week, W3C CEO Dr. Jeff Jaffe commented, "There are huge, transformative opportunities not only for mobile operators but for all businesses if we can overcome the fragmentation of the IoT. As stewards of the Open Web Platform, W3C is in a unique position to create the royalty-free and platform-independent standards needed to achieve this goal."

The W3C Web of Things Working Group will develop cross-domain Linked Data vocabularies, serialization formats, and APIs. The approach builds upon W3C's work on Linked Data as a lingua franca for comparison of data and metadata in different formats and data models. Analysis of a broad range of IoT platforms has shown the practicality of exposing things to applications as objects based upon machine interpretable descriptions of their properties, actions, events and metadata. Application platforms, at the network edge or in the cloud, provide software drivers for each class of IoT platform.

The Web of Things Working Group, co-chaired by Matthias Kovatsch (Siemens), Kazuo Kajimoto (Panasonic), Michael McCool (Intel) will collaborate with a broad range of IoT alliances and standards development organizations on security and best practices for layering the Web of Things on different IoT platforms, including: the IETF, Open Connectivity Foundation, oneM2M, OPC Foundation, Industrial Internet Consortium and Plattform Industrie 4.0.

"The Internet enabled trillions of dollars of hardware and services by providing an abstraction layer that avoided the need for developers to deal with the complexity of end to end communication across a heterogeneous mix of networks and technologies," said Dave Raggett, W3C technical staff contact for the Web of Things. "W3C is seeking to do the same for the IoT through an abstraction layer that avoids the need for developers to deal with the complexity of the numerous IoT platforms, communication patterns, protocols and data formats."

W3C executives will be available for meetings about the Web of Things at Mobile World Congress 2017, 27-29 February.  For more information contact J. Alan Bird at abird@w3.org.

About the World Wide Web Consortium

The mission of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is to lead the Web to its full potential by creating technical standards and guidelines to ensure that the Web remains open, accessible, and interoperable for everyone around the globe. W3C standards HTML5 and CSS are the foundational technologies upon which all Web sites are built. For its work to make online videos more accessible with captions and subtitles, W3C received a 2016 Emmy Award.

W3C's vision for "One Web" brings together thousands of dedicated technologists representing more than 400 member organizations and dozens of industry sectors. Organizationally, W3C is jointly run by the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (MIT CSAIL) in the United States, the European Research Consortium for Informatics and Mathematics (ERCIM) headquartered in France, Keio University in Japan and Beihang University in China. For more information see https://www.w3.org/

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