Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Links between Thing Objects

The other day I mentioned in my IoT Manifesto how things should "look the same if they are the same". In the Object Network, this means that any light Thing produces the same format of JSON on its network interface as any other, even if the first is connected to its host by ZigBee, the other by Z-Wave.

That way, the JSON data from all the Things in your house, or in the world, can be linked up, because anything that understands Thing A's JSON can be expected to understand the format it fetches when it jumps a link from Thing A to Thing B.

Conversely, if you want links between Things, you better make sure all your Things are talking the same language.

The Object Network vision is to create a global "fabric" of sensors and actuators and other logically-abstract objects, all linked up. Like the original vision of the Web, but with data.

As obvious and beneficial as this may seem, there are no initiatives that I could find promoting such an approach towards interoperability.

The nearest in the rough area were the closed-looking industry initiative AllSeen/AllJoyn, the "Open Source Internet of Things" (see also this slide deck) with it's academic feel, and the "Thing System".

I'll dig further to see what I can find out about them or any further examples. Standard linked-up data formats don't appear to be their main feature on first glance, however.

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