The Internet of Things is an easy concept to grasp and a difficult one to manage.

The IoT results from enabling machines, devices and sensors to connect to the Internet that haven’t done so before — sensors on pipelines, water meters in homes, engine monitors in cars, traffic lights, building HVAC systems  … the list goes on. All the enterprise has to do is assemble and analyze the data, right?

Wrong. The IoT will be nothing without interoperability, of devices to exchange information and deal with a wide range of other issues. As an article in Computerworld U.S. points out, there are seven industry groups working on IoT standards as well as the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers).

So the IEEE has formed a working group to create a standard for an IoT architectural framework, called the P2413 project. “The adoption of a unified approach to the development of IoT systems will reduce industry fragmentation and create a critical mass of multi-stakeholder activities around the world, says the group’s Web statement.

The framework would include descriptions of various IoT domains, definitions of IoT domain abstractions, and identification of commonalities between different IoT domains, and a reference mode that defines the relationships among industry verticals. It also provides a blueprint for data abstraction and trust that includes protection, security, privacy, and safety.

Industries “need a place where they can come together and move forward as a scalable, unified platform,” project chair Oleg Logvinov said in an interview in the article. “That type of unification can be enabled only by a global, international standard.”

Logvinov told the publication it hopes to turn the information coming from different platforms into commonly understood data objects. Ideally, the project will finish the standard by 2016.

That may be difficult as a number of vendors are racing to produce IoT solutions every day.

In the meantime, anyone can participate in the working group’s efforts by contacting an IEEE liaison on this page, and by joining the IEEE and voting on proposals.

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Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer, I'm the former editor of and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, I've written for several of ITWC's sister publications including and Computer Dealer News. Before that I was a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times. I can be reached at hsolomon [@]