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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
CASAGRAS' partners from around the world say a single global system capable of replacing legacy systems is unlikely to be created. "Difficulties in achieving agreement and migration from other systems would preclude such a development," Furness says.

Therefore, the partners say their mission is to discover a solution that resolves the problem of different coding systems through the use of a so-called "resolver scheme" that would accommodate legacy systems. Such a scheme would probably be based upon the use of the Universal Resource Identifier (URI), a string of characters used to identify or name a resource on the Internet, such as a Uniform Resource Names (URN) or an Object Identifier (OID).

Finally, Furness and Smith say the Internet of Things should be designed to provide software and hardware "bus" structures, for transferring data from one entity to another. These should be in the form of service-oriented architecture (SOA) and universal data appliance protocols that can be a basis for developing federated networks and services, they add. This would allow people to design "plug-and-play" applications. According to Furness, a simple application would be a sensor-based security support service for buildings in which networks of ID-based sensors monitor conditions and transmit information wirelessly to a service support point. There, it is analyzed and utilized for the basis of automatic controls or other computer-based decisions or alerts.

"This is only scratching at the surface of the service support potential for the Internet of Things," Furness says. "There are other large-scale examples that involve millions of objects connecting within networks and communicating with other objects to satisfy object-based services and applications."

At a later date, CASAGRAS plans to report on possible applications for the Internet of Things. Furness declines to do so at this point, however, saying he does not want to preempt the outcomes of the respective CASAGRAS work packages and the final report.

CASAGRAS will host a free seminar in Shanghai on Dec. 1, intended to solicit opinion in the region on how the Internet of Things should be defined and built. Speakers will cover the European 4-Channel Plan (a plan that allows the operation of an unlimited number of RFID readers in each of the four transmit channels in Europe), a framework model for the Internet of Things, the role of RFID within the Internet of Things, networking and interfacing with the physical world, the need for global coding and resolution schemes, services based on the Internet of things, privacy, security and governance.

The meeting will be followed on Dec. 4 by a joint GRIFS/CASAGRAS workshop to be held in Hong Kong. Click here to register and find out more. GRIFS is a project working to design a platform for worldwide collaboration on RFID standards.

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