W3C releases new Web of Things standards for IoT interoperability

W3C releases new Web of Things standards for IoT interoperability

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has published new web standards that make Web of Things (WoT) Architecture and Web of Things (WoT) Thing Description (TD) official W3C Recommendations to enhance IoT interoperability and counter fragmentation, the organization announced.

“Many Internet of Things applications have been developed for areas as diverse as smart factory, smart city, smart home, and public health,” said W3C CEO Jeff Jaffe, in a prepared statement. “By standardizing the web level descriptions of things, we intend to promote interoperability in these important areas.”

By defining a web-based abstraction layer for existing platforms, devices, gateways and services, the W3C Web of Things addresses the high integration and maintenance costs in IoT projects associated with isolated silos, diverse protocols, and data models.

The integration of current standards from the development stage improves interoperability, reduces risks and boosts open market growth for IoT domains such as smart homes, industrial, smart city, retail and health applications. By deploying W3C WoT standards, manufacturers can speed up development for systems that require mixed vendors and ecosystems.

WoT technologies have already been implemented in solutions such as Siemens Desigo CC for IoT datapoint and function integration with the management station and cloud systems, the Eclipse Thingweb node-wot, low-code development tool Node-RED from the OpenJS Foundation, Mozilla WebThings to develop smart home privacy and security, WoTPy (in Python) and SANE Web of Things Servient (in Java).

Since the Web of Things Working Group was launched, two baseline specifications have been released: the WoT Architecture that details the Web of Things abstract framework and the WoT Thing Description.

The WoT Working Group charter has been extended to continue and scale work such as minimum-effort and secure onboarding of “things”, interoperability profiles, vocabulary support for new protocols and additional standard metadata, security mechanism security for flows in OAuth2, support for PoP Tokens, support for ACE, among others.

There are many different IoT standards efforts to promote interoperability from both official standards bodies and industry consortiums. There have been varying levels of success, but the IoT market, broadly speaking, is still quite fragmented and verticalized. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) does have its history as having established the HTML and CSS standards on which websites are built, and counts over 400 member organizations from various industry sectors on board, including Conexxus, Fujitsu, Hitachi, Intel, Internet Research Institute, Oracle, Panasonic, Siemens, and GovTech Singapore.

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