Internet of Things — Preliminary Report 2014

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ISO/IEC JTC 1, Internet of Things — Preliminary Report 2014, 2015

Type Article
Topics Data Usability, Technology, Interoperability


ISO is the world leading provider of high quality, globally relevant International Standards.

The various statistics taken about IoT evolution show that "while the estimated volume of connected things may vary, the market impacts are projected to be quite significant" (p. 1).

The notions of IoT, Cyber Physical Systems, Machine to Machine Communication, Industrial Internet. Internet of Everything, etc. are considered by ISO as synonyms identifying the same phenomenon, which they call IoT, because they consider "unlikely that in the long run more than one of these terms would survive" (p. 2).

A definition of IoT which includes all traits of IoT would be useless, according to ISO: it is better to choose a short definition that encompasses the most important traits and characteristics of the IoT (p. 2).

the adopted definition is the following:

" An infrastructure of interconnected objects, people, systems and information resources together with intelligent services to allow them to process information of the physical and the virtual world and react" (p. 3).

Stakeholders requirements for IoT are:

  • ease of use (IoT system should be easy to use, to build, to maintain and to repurpose): in order to allow this, identification of components is required; timeliness, sensors, actuators, and communication networks are also required; integration of multiple information and knowledge into a useful representation; the services should be provided on an autonomic basis (the rules should be set by the operators or customized by subscribers);
  • data management: there should exist the possibility to leverage the data collected by the sensors; there is need for a common data format, in order to allow collaborative data processing ("the IoT applications require common data formats and application programming interfaces (APIs) so data can be accessed and combined as needed": p. 7); there is need for a cloud service structure ("[s]takeholders want flexibility in how they implement and use the IoT"; access to the IoT system should be realized anywhere; and stakeholders want to pay only for the amount of service they use: p. 7; see also Ubiquitous Computing, Virtual Worlds, and the Displacement of Property Rights, where it is stated that maybe the access model is better than whole possession, because it is more efficient);
  • security
  • privacy/confidentiality
  • regulation
  • infrastructure (interoperability regardless of the infrastructure used)
  • awareness of service (ability to notice the presence of the IoT services)
  • cohesive set of standards across all standards domains (in order to allow widespread adoption of the IoT)

Over 400 standards have been identified by ISO, and the list is not exhaustive: it is a tremendous number. A single IoT reference architecture is not achievable: there is need for a certain number of reference architectures.