The Internet of Things is coming, but it needs a semantic backbone to flourish. With some 25 billion devices expected to be connected to the Internet by 2015 and 50 billion by 2020, providing interoperability among the things on the IoT “is one of the most fundamental requirements to support object addressing, tracking, and discovery as well as information representation, storage, and exchange.” So write the authors of Semantics for the Internet of Things: Early Progress and Back to the Future,
Payam Barnaghi and Wei Wang, Centre for Communication Systems Research, University of Surrey, Guildford, UK and Cory Henson, Kno.e.sis – Ohio Center of Excellence in Knowledge-enabled Computing.
“The suite of technologies developed in the Semantic Web … such as ontologies, semantic annotation, Linked Data and semantic Web services … can be used as principal solutions for the purpose of realizing the IoT,” they state. “Defining an ontology and using semantic descriptions for data will make it interoperable for users and stakeholders that share and use the same ontology.”
Applying semantic technologies to IoT, however, has several research challenges, the authors note, pointing out that IoT and using semantics in IoT is still in its early days. Being in on the ground floor of this movement is undeniably exciting to the research community, including people such as Konstantinos Kotis, Senior Research Scientist at University of the Aegean, and IT Manager in the regional division of the Samos and Ikaria islands at North Aegean Regional Administration Authority.