Web of Things

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The Web of Things (or WoT) is a concept and plan to fully incorporate every-day physical objects into the World Wide Web by giving them an API, thus greatly facilitating the creation of their virtual profiles as well as their integration and reuse for various applications.

The Web of Things is primarily an evolution of the Internet of Things where the primary concern has been how to connect objects together at the network layer: similar to the way the Internet addressed the lower-level connectivity of computers (layers 3-4 of the OSI model), the Internet of Things is primarily focusing on using various technologies such as RFID, Zigbee, Bluetooth or 6LoWPAN.

On the other hand, just like what the Web is to the Internet, the Web of Things regroups research and industrial initiatives looking into building an application layer for physical objects to foster their reusability and integration into innovative 3rd party applications. The envisioned approach is to reuse the already well-accepted and ubiquitous Web standards such as URI, HTTP, HTML5, REST, Web feeds, Javascript etc. Although these technologies were initially created for desktop computers, the fast increase of capabilities of embedded devices makes this possible already today.

Technical characteristics[edit]

The properties of a Web of Things can be summarized as follows:

  • Uses HTTP as an application protocol rather than as a transport protocol as done in the world of WS-* Web Services [1]
  • Exposes the asynchronous functionality (i.e. events) of smart objects through the use of largely accepted Web syndication standards such as Atom or server-push Web mechanisms such as Comet.

These characteristics ensure the loose-coupling of services provided by the smart objects, furthermore they offer a uniform interface to access and build on the functionality of smart objects.


The term Web of Things first appeared around 2008 when several researchers such as Dominique Guinard, Vlad Trifa, Erik Wilde, Dave Raggett and Vlad Stribu met at the first Internet of Things conference[3] and started discussing the applicability to physical objects of the REST architectural style and its Web implementation as HTTP 1.1.

Application examples[edit]

One of the early prototypes of the Web of Things is the "Energie Visible" project in which sensors capable of monitoring and controlling the energy consumption of household appliances offer a RESTful API to their functionality. This API is then used to create a physical Mashup.[4]

Nimbits[5] is an open source data historian server built on cloud computing architecture that provides connectivity between devices using data points.

Xively (formerly Pachube) is a commercial web of things data aggregator and data mining website often integrated into the Web of Things.

EVRYTHNG[6] is a platform for making tagged products part of the Web based on a Web of Things architecture.

WeIO is an open source hardware and software platform for rapid prototyping and creation of wirelessly connected interactive objects using only popular web languages such as HTML5 or Python.

An application of the Web of Things in smart homes has been recently investigated in,[7] to address the problem of heterogeneous home devices by reusing Web technologies.

An alternative approach taken by Sense Tecnic Systems [8] focuses on a lightweight toolkit for developing IoT applications and targets rapid development using Web technologies and protocols. The WoTKit toolkit has been described at the 2012 IoT conference [9] and builds on research from UBC's Media and Graphics Interdisciplinary Centre,[10] in particular the work on the MAGIC Broker as published at IoT 2010.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Richardson, Leonard; Ruby, Sam (2007). RESTful Web Services. O'Reilly (published May 8, 2007). pp. 299–314. ISBN 0-596-52926-0. 
  2. ^ Richardson, Leonard; Ruby, Sam (2007). RESTful Web Services. O'Reilly (published May 8, 2007). pp. 79–105. ISBN 0-596-52926-0. 
  3. ^ "Internet of Things 2008, International Conference for Industry and Academia". 
  4. ^ "Energie Visible Web of Things Project". 
  5. ^ "free, social and open source internet of things.". Nimbits. Retrieved 2012-05-10. 
  6. ^ "making products smart.". EVRYTHNG. Retrieved 2013-05-24. 
  7. ^ Kamilaris A. Enabling Smart Homes using Web Technologies. PhD Thesis, University of Cyprus, Nicosia, Cyprus, December, 2012.
  8. ^ "WoTKit: Lightweight IoT toolkit". SenseTecnic. Retrieved 2012-08-05. 
  9. ^ Blackstock, M.; Lea, R. (October 2012). "IoT Mashups with the WoTKit". Internet of Things 2012 (IEEE). In Press. 
  10. ^ "Media and Graphics Interdisciplinary Centre, University of British Columbia". UBC. Retrieved 5 August 2012. 
  11. ^ Blackstock, M.; Kaviani, N.; Lea, R.; Friday, A. (Nov 29 – Dec 1, 2010). "MAGIC Broker 2: An open and extensible platform for the Internet of Things". IoT 2010 (IEEE press): 1–8. doi:10.1109/IOT.2010.5678443. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Stirbu, V. (2008). "Towards a RESTful Plug and Play Experience in the Web of Things". "Semantic Computing, 2008 IEEE International Conference on". Semantic Computing, 2008 IEEE International Conference on. pp. 512–517. 
  • Fortuna, Carolina; Grobelnik, Marko (2011-03-09). "Tutorial: The Web of Things". Proceedings of the World Wide Web Conference 2011, Hyderabad, India. Association for Computing Machinery. 

External links[edit]