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CASAGRAS Says the Internet of Things Should Be More Than RFID

An interim report argues that the network linking the virtual and the physical worlds should make use of all automatic identification and data capture technologies, as well as other sensor and communication technologies.
By Rhea Wessel
Launched in January 2008, CASAGRAS was set up to provide studies to help the European Commission and the global community shape RFID policy. It was also designed to initiate collaboration among the European Union, Korea, Japan, China and the United States for defining standards regarding the Internet of Things.

The CASAGRAS project submitted its findings after seven months of work led by Smith and Furness. The AIDC is funded by a U.K. state economic development agency, and is charged with helping companies in that area adopt automatic ID technologies (see U.K. Auto-ID Center Focuses on Small, Midsize Firms). In addition to this work, the organization is heading up the CASAGRAS project, now a leading effort to define what the Internet of Things actually means in terms of scope and scale.

Anthony Furness
"There has been a lot of rhetoric on the Internet of Things," Furness says, "but up to now, there has been no clear definition on the framework of it, and how it will integrate with the Internet itself." Some people, he adds, are already working on component parts for such a structure, and on applications for the Internet of Things, even though its framework has not yet been clearly defined.

Furness and others working on the CASAGRAS project have not yet come up with a final recommendation for a definition based on broad international support, but their interim report moves the project closer to meeting that goal. To date, Furness and Smith indicate, it has three main findings.

First, the report says, the Internet of Things must be inclusive of a variety of technologies: It must allow for many ways to identify physical objects and their locations in order to accommodate existing and emerging technologies. Besides RFID, such technologies include linear bar codes, Matrix 2-D bar codes and natural-feature technologies such as speech recognition, biometrics and developments in feature recognition that are applied to physical and biological objects.

Second, the Internet of Things must take into account legacy identification systems. This refers to the so-called "global coding problem" resulting from a wide variety of object-identification systems including the GS1 numbering system, the EPC system and ubiquitous ID, a numbering system employed in Japan and in other parts of Asia.

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