Internet of Things: Services and Applications Categorization

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GIGLI M., KOO S., Internet of Things: Services and Applications Categorization, Advances in Internet of Things, i. 1, 2011, 27-31

Type Article
Abstract In this paper we attempt to categorize the services provided by the Internet of Things (IoT) in order to help

application developers build upon a base service. First we

introduce the four main categories of services, and 

then follow by providing a number of examples of each of

the service categories so as to provide an example 

of how each type of service might be implemented, a nd how it can be used to build an IoT application.

Topics Technology


Categorization of the services provided by the IoT, in order to suggest development of applications providing these services.

IoT’s aim is to unify everything under a common infrastructure, in order to allow users to acquire information about the state of things and to control them. But its problem is the absence of a uniform architecture (interoperability problems between different types of technologies: sensors, networks, communication and computing technologies, etc.).

Four main types of services based on the IoT:

  • Identity-Related Services: active (constant power or battery power; they can actively transmit information) or passive (no power source; they must be read from); their two building blocks are: 1) things equipped with identifiers, such as an RFID tag; 2) a read device, which reads the identity of things and makes requests to a server to access more detailed information about the thing. The most used identification technology is RFID, which is an upgrade from barcode scanning, because, if active, it can transmit data. RFID is a technology that enables data to be transmitted by an RFID tag (a tiny portable device); this tag stores an identification code unique to that device; data stored in the tag are read by an RFID reader, which then looks on a server for additional information about the thing embedding the tag. This kind of service could be used in the fields of production, shipping, supply chain management and supply chain information transmission. Actually, every IoT application is based on, or at least incorporates some instance of, an identity-related service, because for the IoT to incorporate everything in the physical world to the digital world, the application needs to identify all of the connected devices.
  • Information Aggregation Services: they acquire data from various sensors, process them, and transmit and report them to the application; it is possible, through access gateways, to make use of different types of sensors and network devices. These services incorporate identity related services. This kind of services only provides the application with all of the information collected (and processed along the way) from the terminals of the system (sensors, RFID tags, etc.). this kind of service could be used to monitor situations (e.g. energy situation in the house) or to monitor anything anywhere.
  • Collaborative-Aware Services: they use aggregated data to make decisions, and based on these decisions perform actions; they must be able to retrieve information and to relay back responses to the collected information to perform actions; so, there is need, for a terminal-to-terminal and a terminal-to-person communication. Their peculiarity is that they use the data collected to make decisions and perform actions (terminals can’t be just simple sensors, or there must be separate embedded devices that can make use of the data).
  • Ubiquitous Services: they are the epitome of the IoT; they are collaborative-aware services for everyone, everything, at all times. They must provide complete access and control of everything. This kind of services has yet to be realized: one of the most relevant issues is that there is no a uniform architecture that allows different technologies and standards to communicate and interoperate.