An API for the “Real World”

By April 7, 2011Uncategorized

Next up in the posting of session descriptions, Rick Bullotta with “An API for the ‘Real World'”:

There has been a great deal of activity and discussion of late regarding the potential of the “Internet of Things” or “Web of Things” in transforming our daily lives. The reality is that there is a mind-blowing amount of value and innovation that can be unlocked by bridging meatspace (people), cyberspace (systems/information), and atomspace (the physical world). A lot of work has been done to address the first two, and the third has typically been a monstrous challenge.

The application domains within the web of things are broad and diverse – ranging from smart cities, buildings, utilities, factories, retail, homes, transportation, and countless others. Additionally, there is recognition that not all of these “Things”, for a variety of reasons ranging from security to physical limitations, will be connected to the internet. We also will discuss how value is not simply extracted within each of these networks (homes, cities, factories, electricity), but also at the nexus of each – the “network of networks”. Examples will be discussed including industrial facilities, the smart grid, and crowdsourcing via “human sensors”.

Rick will present an API for “Things” that allows data, events, and services from the “real world” to be composed, visualized, and mashed up with just about anything else. Included in this concept is set of APIs for discoverability and metadata/metamodel information as well as configuration and runtime services. We will also describe challenges in designing APIs to capture the massive data exhaust from the activity streams of “Things” into a searchable and accessible semantic data store. We will also discuss some of the opportunities and challenges in applying the current generation of web technologies to this domain, including limitations with HTTP, JSON/XML, and the Internet itself.