The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has announced official recommendations for Web of Things Architecture and Web of Things Thing Descriptions.
They are designed to make it easier to integrate across Internet of Things platforms and applications.
The thinking behind the new recommendations is to bring some standardization to the web-level descriptions of Things.
The two baseline specifications cover the overall Web of Things (WoT) conceptual framework, and Things themselves. W3C says it’s the equivalent of index.html to a website: it can be considered as the entry point of a physical or virtual Thing/device.
The recommendations for WoT Architecture sets out a number of key concepts including application domains, patterns, requirements and architecture. Application domains include smart homes, smart cities, buildings and cars. Patterns involve ways to connect such as controllers and access. The architecture is made up of Web Things, models showing how Things interact, protocol bindings and hypermedia controls. Along with Things, the architecture includes templates, an ECMAScript-based API, and Security and Privacy guidelines.
The Thing description describes the metadata and interfaces of Things, where a Thing is an abstraction of a physical or virtual entity that provides interactions to and participates in the Web of Things.
Thing Descriptions provide a set of interactions based on a small vocabulary that makes it possible both to integrate diverse devices and to allow diverse applications to interoperate. Thing Descriptions, by default, are encoded in a JSON format that also allows JSON-LD processing. JSON-LD is described as providing a powerful foundation to represent knowledge about Things in a machine-understandable way.
The publication of the standards is just the start, and the working group now plans to come up with standards for “minimum-effort onboarding of Things in a secure way”, as well as details of interoperability profiles, vocabulary support for new protocols, and more security schemes.