Web of Things
W3C

Getting Started

The W3C Web of Things (WoT) seeks to counter the fragmentation of the IoT, making it much easier to create applications without the need to master the disparate variety of IoT technologies and standards. WoT defines an abstract architecture that is based on a set of requirements that were derived from use cases for multiple application domains. The architecture defines a basic conceptual framework that can be mapped onto a variety of concrete deployment scenarios and use cases.

Use cases and application domains include:

  • Consumer
  • Industrial
  • Transportation & Logistics
  • Engineering and Construction
  • Agriculture
  • Healthcare
  • Environment Monitoring
  • Smart Cities
  • Smart Buildings
  • Connected Cars

To realize this, WoT specifies some principles and technology building blocks that were derived from requirements addressing these use cases. These building blocks can be used to complement new or existing IoT ecosystems. An overview of the main WoT principles and building blocks is given here:

Thing

A Thing is an abstraction of a physical or virtual entity that provides interactions to and participates in the Web of Things.

Interaction Affordances: Properties, Actions, Events

The Interaction Model of W3C WoT introduces an intermediate abstraction that formalizes the mapping from application intent to concrete protocol operations and also narrows the possibilities how Interaction Affordances can be modeled. So, Things may offer three other types of Interaction Affordances defined by this specification: Properties, Actions, and Events.

Thing Description

The WoT Thing Description (TD) is a central building block in the W3C Web of Things and can be considered as the entry point of a Thing (much like the index.html of a Web site). Thing descriptions expressed in JSON-LD cover the metadata of the Thing, interaction affordances, data schema, security configuration and protocol bindings.

Consumer

A consumer of a thing is able to parse and process the Thing Description to be able to interact with the thing. This interaction can be over a direct connection or via one or more intermediaries.

Intermediary

Intermediaries can act as proxies for Things, where the Intermediary has a WoT Thing Description similar to the original Thing, but which points to the WoT Interface provided by the Intermediary. Intermediaries may also augment existing Things with additional capabilities or compose a new Thing out of multiple available Things, thereby forming a virtual entity. To Consumers, Intermediaries look like Things, as they possess WoT Thing Descriptions and provide a WoT Interface.

Binding Templates

A Protocol Binding is the mapping from an Interaction Affordance to concrete messages of a specific protocol such as HTTP, CoAP, or MQTT. It informs the client how to activate the Interaction Affordance through a network-facing interface. The Protocol Bindings follow the Uniform Interface constraint of REST to support interoperability.

Scripting API

The WoT Scripting API building block defines an ECMAScript API that closely follows the WoT Thing Description specification. It defines the interface between behavior implementations and a scripting-based WoT Runtime. Other, simpler APIs may be implemented on top of it, similar to, for instance, jQuery for the Web browser APIs. The Web of Things is not limited to a scripting evorenment. Programming languages such as Java or C/C++ can be derived from the Scripting API.

Security and Privacy Guidelines

Web of Things provides guidance on Web of Things (WoT) security and privacy that is applied to WoT's asset such as the Thing Description and Scripting API.

Various Materials

Below you will find various materials to give you further introduction to the W3C Web of Things and its technology based on presentations and videos.

Slides

  • Overview of the work of the W3C Web of Things standardization group: pdf
  • Web of Things for Beginners:

Videos

Other Materials

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