Web of Things

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The Web of Things is a vision inspired from the Internet of Things where everyday devices and objects, i.e. objects that contain an Embedded devices or computer, are connected by fully integrating them to the Web. Examples of smart devices and objects are Wireless Sensor Networks, Ambient devices, household appliances, etc.

Unlike in the many systems that exist for the Internet of things, the Web of Things is about re-using the Web standards to connect the quickly expending eco-system of Embedded devices built into everyday smart objects. Well-accepted and understood standards and blueprints (such as URI, HTTP, REST, RSS, etc.) are used to access the functionality of the smart objects.


Technical characteristics

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

  • Uses HTTP as an application protocol rather than as a transport protocol as done in the world of WS-* Web Services [1]
  • Exposes the synchronous functionality of smart objects through a REST interface (also known as RESTful API) and more generally respects the blueprints of Resource Oriented Architectures [2].
  • Exposes the asynchronous functionality (i.e. events) of smart objects through the use of largely accepted Web syndication standards such as Atom_(standard) or server-push Web mechanisms such as Comet_(programming).

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.

Application examples

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 [3].


  1. Richardson, Leonard; Ruby, Sam (2007), RESTful Web Services, O'Reilly (published (May 8, 2007)), pp. 299–314, ISBN 0596529260 
  2. Richardson, Leonard; Ruby, Sam (2007), RESTful Web Services, O'Reilly (published (May 8, 2007)), pp. 79–105, ISBN 0596529260 
  3. "Energie Visible Web of Things Project". http://www.plogginternational.com/docs/ETH-Cudrefin02.pdf. 

Further reading

  • 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. 
  • Richardson, Leonard; Ruby, Sam (2007). RESTful Web Services. O'Reilly (published (May 8, 2007)). ISBN 0596529260. 

External links

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