Steve Halliday: The Standards of the Internet of Things

5/02/2014 - 20:26

The subject of standards and the Internet of Things seems to be a much discussed one. This is an open invitation to help define those standards.
The Internet of Things is not going to be governed by one standard. There are going to be a large number of standards involved depending on what you are doing.  Some of the standards will apply to one application and others may not.
Many people have asked me how that can be true and I explain it like this:
A great example of a global standard is the credit card that you are carrying in your wallet.  There are several standards published by ISO (international Standards Organization) that define the size, the properties of the magnetic stripe (or chip), and the data that is stored and transmitted. It doesn’t matter where you go in the world, your card works in ATMs and POS terminals.
On the other side think about that power plug on your TV.  It brings power into your TV when it is plugged into that wall socket.  But those of you that travel know that the power you get, depends on where in the world you are. It could be 110 volts, 220V, 240V. It could be 50 or 60 Hertz. And worse the plug itself is different where ever you go, from the U.S.’s 2 flat pins to Australia’s 2 flat angled pins, to Europe’s 2 round pins, to the UK’s three pin plug (plus all of the variations in between).  They are still standards but they are national ones and unless you travel a lot, it probably doesn’t matter (I don’t take a TV with me when I travel, but I do have a laptop, and I carry a variety of adaptors and make sure the power supply works with all voltages and frequencies.).
ISO creates and provides the standards that drive the world, and so it created a new group that is looking at the Internet of Things.  This special working group (ISO/IEC JTC 1 SWG 5) was setup to investigate how the standards world can help the IoT.
I am the chairman of an adhoc group inside this special working group that is looking specifically at standards (other adhocs have marketing, definition and architecture focus).  In my adhoc we are contacting all standards groups (formal or informal) and asking them to provide information on the standards they have created (could be industry, defacto, national, international etc.) that they believe will be used in the Internet of Things.
If you are involved in the IoT and want to have a say in the standards that will govern our world, then I invite you to participate.  You can do that at several levels, including joining your National Body and becoming a member of the group. ( For a list of National Bodies visit, find your country and follow the link)
But I also need your help.  We have created a template to collect information on standards that might be appropriate to the IoT.  From sensors to RFID to wireless technologies to communications to clouds to accessibility to everything in between, inside or outside of the box.
If you would like to help then send me an email and ask for the template.  Fill it out and send it back to me before 1 March 2014 and I will compile the information for presentation to the committee.  The compiled information will then be made available to everyone to help the development of IoT applications.  You can reach me at steveImage removed.hightechaid [dot] com.
Steve Halliday
Twitter: - @RFIDMan