Internet of things

The 'internet of things' is a way of using technology to connect any device that can turn on and off with the internet, so that they can talk to us and other devices.

Current projects

Real-Time IoT Stream Processing and Large-scale Data Analytics for Smart City Applications

The CityPulse project aims to design, develop and test a distributed framework for semantic discovery, processing and interpretation of large- scale real-time Internet of Things and relevant social data streams for knowledge extraction in a city environment. Smart city data is big data. It is not only large in volume, it is multi-modal, varies in quality, format, representation form and levels of dynamicity. CityPulse provides large-scale stream processing solutions to interlink data from Internet of Things and relevant social networks and to extract real-time information for the sustainable and smart city applications.

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For more information, please contact:

Dr Payam Barnaghi

FI-WARE has started to materialize as a powerful foundation for the Future Internet. FI-WARE is an innovative, open cloud-based infrastructure for cost-effective creation and delivery of services, at a scale not seen before. FI-WARE is now well under way to successfully achieve its goals of boosting the effectiveness of creating new services of high economic and societal value, reinforcing EU competitiveness and bringing opportunities for high-growth entrepreneurs and SME players.

Now, following an intensive period of research, development and experimentation, the FI-Core Consortium aims to complete the FI-WARE vision and support a truly open innovation ecosystem around FI-Lab, a working instance of FI-WARE that is distributed across multiple datacenters in Europe and is effectively operated using the suite of FI-Ops tools.

In this project, the FI-Core consortium will deliver: 

  • Technology extensions, introducing new capabilities to the platform
  • A means for platform availability, including the launch of operational FI-Ware nodes across Europe with resources and tools to support them, as well as extensive FI-Ware education and training programs for Web entrepreneurs and SMEs plus 
  • Processes and tools for platform sustainability, dissemination of current and on-going results, namely FI-WARE, FI-Ops and FI-Lab. These will be a globally competitive foundation for Europe's economy

For more information, please contact:

Dr Payam Barnaghi

European Cities driving the Future Internet

frontierCities is one of sixteen accelerator projects designed to promote the EU's future internet research platform, FIWARE. As an accelerator, it is the consortium's responsibility to encourage SMEs and startups with innovative ideas to enter the market and to create a sustainable business.

FrontierCities, in particular, is interested in funding ideas involving smart mobility concepts and applications. A total of approximately four million euros will be used to fund a number of innovative smart mobility ideas, with each idea having an anticipated budget of 50,000 to 150,000 euros each.  A requirement for this funding is that the idea use several of the Generic Enablers developed under the FIWARE platform. The FrontierCities consortium will also provide expert technical and business advice to the startups and SMEs so as to give them the best chance for succeeding with their business idea.

The ICS is responsible for providing technical expertise and guidance to both the FrontierCities consortium and also to prospective participants interested in being funded. We have strong ties to the FIWARE programme which enables us to respond quickly to participant queries and issues. We are also providing leadership as we are work package and task leaders for a number of the work packages and sub-tasks for the project.

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Domain interoperability through the use of a hyper-catalogues

HyperCat is an open, lightweight JSON-based hypermedia catalogue format for exposing collections of URIs, it is simple to work with and allows developers to publish linked-data descriptions of resources. Each HyperCat catalogue may expose any number of URIs, each with any number of RDF-like triple statements about it.

HyperCat is designed for exposing information about IoT assets over the web. It allows a server to provide a set of resources to a client, each with a set of semantic annotations. Implementers are free to choose or invent any set of annotations to suit their needs. A set of best practices and tools are currently under development. Where implementers choose similar or overlapping semantics, the possibilities for interoperability are increased.

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The University is involved in the HyperCat project in a number of areas.

It is responsible for delivering one of the nine use cases which are used to demonstrate the effectiveness of the HyperCat model. The use case, MyGuaridan 2.0, is based upon the original application developed within the Eyehub project. This application is being designed to provide direct and indirect elements of safety and security to an individual as she travels.

For the direct elements, an alarm can be instantly activated on a mobile device by simply shaking it rigorously for several seconds. Upon activating the alarm, the mobile device's video camera and microphone are activated so that information about the event is recorded and sent to a backend server for storage. This information is tagged with the mobile device's GPS coordinates so as to provide authorities with a comprehensive account of an incident as possible.

In addition, the alarm generates a notification to the individual's 'guardian', a person chosen by the individual to be notified in the event of an emergency. Thus, between the forensic evidence generated by the mobile device, and the alert to the guardian, the necessary attention can be brought to an emergency situation almost immediately.  

The MyGuaridan 2.0 application will provide indirect safety and security elements as well. Utilising the HyperCat functionalities, catalogues of resources near the individuals can be constantly searched for safety elements such as a store that is open late, a well-lit street, a busy pub, etc. so that if the individual starts to feel uneasy, the application can direct him or her to one of these 'safe havens'.  

Additionally, other individuals using the application could be notified of any alarms generated by in their locality so as to bring an extra element of notification to the situation whilst also promoting social inclusion.

As well as the MyGuardian application, the University is involved in developing the HyperCat platform, particularly in the area of ontology interoperability as well as the development of mobile device ontologies.

For more information, please contact:

Prof Klaus Moessner

Intelligent Knowledge as a Service

iKaaS is a Research and Innovation Action (RIA) project funded by the EU and is a joint research platform between the EU and Japan.  The focus of the joint research is the development of innovative global cloud platform technologies to meet the new challenges of big data, mobile and IoT. It aims to address requirements from business and industrial applications, such as robotics or factory automation and/or societal applications, such as health management for an aging society.

In particular, the iKaaS project aims to develop an intelligent, privacy preserving and secure Smart City platform. This platform is based upon a 'Big Data' resource and an analytics engine built atop heterogeneous cloud platforms with data collected from a variety of sensors from Internet of Things (IoT) environments.

These IoT sensors are deployed as mobile terminals, smart devices, and components that comrprise smart homes. We envisage that this data and the analytics engine – a knowledge base – form fundamental building blocks for cross-border business-to-government (B2G), business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) applications, such as lifestyle recommendation, future city planning, academic research and analysis, location-and behaviour-specific targeted services and so on.

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The platform features will be demonstrated by way of Smart City applications promoting self-management of health and safety of citizens, as well as an information system improving data analysis for a smarter life in the city, focusing on such areas like epidemiological surveillance.

The University of Surrey is leading this project by providing coordination and management services.  In addition, the University will contribute to the following aspects of the project:

  • Definition and building of enablers for an intelligent Knowledge-as-a-service platform 
  • Definition and support of the instantiation of data collection, rendering and search mechanisms across cloud instances 
  • Developing knowledge-based IoT applications through analysis of extremely large data sets as well as of data streams obtained form smart city deployments and infrastructures 
  • Validation of the distributed knowledge-base through experimentation on data sets obtained from smart city data models and data source

The University is also the Deputy Work Package Leader for the Platform Design and Implementation work package.

For more information, please contact:

Prof Klaus Moessner

Crowdsourcing as a means to extend multidisciplinary IoT experiments

The IoT Lab is a European project which investigates the potential of crowdsourcing as a means to extend existing IoT testbed infrastructures for multidisciplinary experiments resulting in greater end-user interaction.

This will be achieved by federating heterogeneous testbeds from the FIRE community and improving their interaction through the use of virtualization and Cloud technologies. Testbed scale will be extended by including hundreds of mobile device users, each of them connected through their smartphones, tablets, etc. This will result in new and otherwise impossible experiments to be undertaken by researchers.

At the core of the project is a set of crowdsourcing tools which will be developed that will allow experimenters to easily design and deploy their experiments to a large number of participants by including their mobile phones into the existing testbed infrastructure. Participants actively participate in experiments by sharing their data, perception, feedback in a privacy preserving manner. The creation of societal value and the identification of profitable business models are just some of the key aspects that will be explored during the project in order to generate further value from the project.

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As contributors to the IoT Lab Project, the University will provide access to its campus-wide IoT testbed so that it can be joined with other FIRE testbeds present in the project to extend experimentation capabilities. The University will leverage its expertise in mobile communications by leading the conceptualization and implementation of the crowdsourcing tools, with particular emphasis on the mobile application that will be used by participants. The areas of efficiency, user experience and scalability are some of the key areas to be addressed in order for the IoT Lab vision to be realised.

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Creating a socially aware citizen-centric Internet of Things

The SOCIOTAL project aims to create open, participatory ecosystems in which IoT devices and information streams can be freely shared in a secure and trusted manner.

These data streams are made available to communities and their citizens in order for benefits to be made to society as a whole. This approach helps to combat the current view that IoT deployments being used primarily by enterprises for the creating and optimisation of their business processes. Through the extraction of real-world knowledge from environments and consumer intelligence, SOCIOTAL will create tools and mechanisms that simplify complexity and lower the barriers of entry to the development of social awareness applications.

By utilising the notion of context and context-aware data generation, as well as the sharing of trusted citizen generated data, SOCIOTAL aims to encourage citizen participation in the IoT. Participation by citizens is further encouraged through the use of various incentivisation schemes. A key part of the project is the engagement with communities comprising both application users and developers in order to foster the creation of a SOCIOTAL ecosystem. The outcomes of the project will be trialled in the cities of Santander and Novi Sad.

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The University of Surrey coordinates the SOCIOTAL project and will provide direction for the success of its ovreall vision in order to build an ecosystem of socially empowered IoT services. In order to enhance trust of citizens in sharing data, the University is leading the work on creating new privacy preserving communication mechanisms.

This will be achieved by defining new enablers that infer social relations from mobile phone interactions by citizens and to exploit these interactions in order to create a context-aware framework for data generation and the enforcement of sharing policies. Some of the provided solutions will be tested and evaluated involving the “citizens” of the campus-wide University IoT testbed.

For more information, please contact: 

Prof. Klaus Moessner

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Completed projects

Tackling IoT challenges through an innovative use of connected technologies

Eyehub is one of eight IoT Ecosystem Demonstrators co-funded by the UK's Technology Strategy Board. Eyehub's technology has the capability of creating a safer and more secure environment for people whilst enabling future smart city services and products. The technology is a combination of Flexeye's software and data hub services in combination with Eseye's hardware. Both ManagePlaces and the University of Surrey have utilised the sensor data and the cloud platform which is integrated with the hub to realise mobile applications to demonstrate some of the fundamental capabilities of the IoT.

Furthermore, Eyehub enables third party developers to write applications that use sensor data and control devices using standard REST APIs. It also enables integration with HyperCat, an open machine-readable catalogue format for discovering IoT resources. The Eyehub consortium invites developers of sensors or applications to have access to the hub's functionality and to help develop meaningful applications for people everywhere.

A key outcome of this project was the development of the MyGuardian mobile application. This application was developed as a means to utilise the University of Surrey's campus as an IoT ecosystem 'proving grounds'. The app can be used by staff and students to provide them with a means to improve their safety as they travel across campus or to offsite University-owned destinations, day or night.

The underlying concept of the app is the generation of information-rich notifications in situations where risks to safety may arise as an individual travels.  This is accomplished by informing predetermined trustees in a timely manner so that appropriate actions can be taken to mitigate a particular risk.

Notifications can be generated via explicit user requests, or implicitly triggered by IoT technologies which may detect a problematic situation (i.e. the application user has not arrived at their intended destination in a predetermined time). Depending on the situation, the notifications generated by the application are delivered to a trustee who is chosen by the user prior to embarking on their trip.

Trustees can be ‘guardian angels’ – trusted persons explicitly nominated by a user or perhaps members of the University's Security Department. Based upon the notification generated, additional actions may be triggered such as a call back to the user from the trustee, for example.

The MyGuardian application suite consists of two distinct service components:

A safety button

  • This button can be invoked from the user’s mobile phone in situations where the application user feels threatened or frightened. This button triggers an alarm immediately to the trustee. Optionally it can establish a direct call to the trustee from the user so that more information about the situation can be obtained. 

A timer-based check-out/check-in service

  • Prior to embarking on their trip, the user identifies the destination s/he is travelling to and sets this in the application. The user then ‘checks out’ of their current location using their mobile phone to scan a QR code/NFC tag placard placed at the entrances of various University buildings, or by using their current GPS coordinates
  • The user then begins travelling toward their destination. If the user fails to check in within a predetermined time, an instant notification is passed to their chosen trustee. The application has been fitted with a ‘snooze’ button which will allow the user to delay a notification being generated if the user is delayed from reaching their destination due to innocuous causes (e.g. the user stops to speak with a friend who happens to be passing by). This button will therefore minimise false alerts being generated
  • The service may also be used to record a user’s travel path so that if s/he fails to arrive at their destination and their trustee is unable to contact him/her, their last known location can be used to help locate him/her

The Android version of the MyGuardian application was developed by the University’s Centre for Communications Systems Research with the iOS version developed by ManagePlaces Ltd. with backend server support provided by Flexeye Ltd. the consortium leaders.  

Another key component of the trial infrastructure is the ‘Touchpoint’ QR Code/NFC tag placard. These placards have been installed throughout the University’s main campus and also at the surrounding student accommodation properties. More than five hundred of these placards have been installed.

The purpose of these placards is to facilitate the check-in/check-out process for the app user. The user uses the application to either scan the QR code (available for both Android and iOS phones) or the NFC tag (most Android phones). These tags have been encoded with their location information so that the application can readily identify the user’s location. Thus the user simply has to scan the tag before starting their trip and then again when the destination is reached.

The University also contributed to another IoT use case, which it helped to develop, the CityGuardian. This application aims to provide users, such as the Guildford Borough Council, a stakeholder in the consortium, with information about noise generated in a city landscape. This information will allow these key stakeholders to better understand and ultimately act upon the noise-related issues within and around the town centre.

Pursuing ROadmaps and BEnchmarks for the Internet of Things

Probe-IT is a Coordination and Support Action (CSA) supported by the EU's Framework Programme 7. The aim of Probe-IT was to analyze existing roadmaps that are driving current IoT research, and then identify sources of fragmentation that could affect research efforts and finally to try mitigate this fragmentation. This was done so as to avoid wasting research effort on solutions that are not commercially viable.

The most important aspect of this project was to guarantee the interoperability of the proposed solutions. To this extent, a different set of benchmarking metrics for existing IoT deployment was identified. These metrics were then applied as a means to measure interoperability of existing IoT deployments.

The result has been the definition and execution of different interoperability tests among different IoT deployments, spanning not only the boundaries of Europe but also China, Brazil and Africa, both at the data and network levels. Popular interoperability tests have addressed and validated 6LoWPAN interoperability. As result of these tests, guidelines to increase or guarantee interoperability have been developed, such as the design of semantic interoperable deployments.

In Probe-IT, the University of Surrey played the role of mediator in identifying concertation activities suitable for raising awareness about the Probe-IT project so as to guarantee its success.

For more information, please contact: 

Prof. Klaus Moessner

Open API's for Open Minds

FI-WARE seeks to provide a truly open, public and royalty-free architecture and a set of open specifications that will allow developers, service providers, enterprises and other organizations to develop products that satisfy their needs while still being open and innovative (see Figure below). FI-WARE will dramatically increase Europe’s Information and Communications Technology competitiveness by introducing an innovative infrastructure that enables cost-effective creation and delivery of versatile digital services, high quality of service and security guarantees.

The platform aims to reduce obstacles and foster innovation and entrepreneurship in a variety of ways:

  • Offering a set of open APIs that allow developers to avoid getting tied to any specific vendor, therefore protecting application developer’s investment

Providing a powerful foundation for the Future Internet, cultivating a sustainable ecosystem for:

  • Service providers delivering new applications and solutions meeting the requirements of established and emerging areas of use
  • End users and consumers actively participating in content and service consumption and creation

FIWARE will respond to the demands of end customers as well as enterprises and organizations.  End customers want to gain access and easily consume applications that can effectively assist them in daily life situations. Some of the underlying problems involved in satisfying this are the management of ever-growing data and information (e.g. from sensor-enabled environments) and the seamless access anywhere, anytime and from any device. They also require improved means for real-time communication and collaboration within their social networks, families and neighbourhoods while being mobile, without risking any security or privacy requirements. Overall, these capabilities could transform communities, homes and cities into safer and better places to live and leverage the Internet as an additional utility for Society.

Enterprises and organizations on the other hand, wish to get closer to their customers in order to deliver an even more compelling user experience and better service. For this reason, they would like to exploit contextual user data which may lead to a more personalized interaction experience and service offering, creating stronger participation of users in all phases of product and service lifecycles. In order to develop and operate these services, new methods, technologies and tools are needed to speed up the time to market, establish value added services and simplify access to relevant resources and capabilities, e.g., from the Internet of Things. Additional requirements on business services include reduced complexity of ICT provisioning, scaling, global availability and meeting security requirements from customers and legal authorities. An appropriate Future Internet platform would greatly contribute to meeting these demands from business customers.

Generic Enablers:

The FI Core Platform comprises a set of technological Generic Enablers (GE) which are considered general purpose and common to almost any “usage areas”, GE implementation can be assembled in a specific Fi-Ware instance of a particular usage area. The GE Open Specifications contain all the information required in order to build compliant products which can work as alternative implementations of GEs developed in FI-WARE.

Those specifications will typically include, but not necessarily will be limited to, information such as:

  • Description of the scope, behaviour and intended use of the GE
  • Terminology, definitions and abbreviations to clarify the meanings of the specification
  • Signature and behaviour of operations linked to APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) that the GE should export. Signature may be specified in a particular language binding or through a RESTful interface
  • Description of protocols that support interoperability with other GE or third party products

The FI-WARE consortium intends to deliver a reference implementation for each of the Generic Enablers defined in the FI-WARE Architecture. Some components of these reference implementations may be closed source while others may be open source.

The concrete open source license selected by the owning partners who work together in the implementation of a given component will be agreed by them, taking into account the Access Rights obligations and avoiding any impact on other Project partners they don't desire.

Note that not all components in a compliant implementation of a GE need to interoperate with components linked to implementations of another GE, nor provide APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) to Application Developers. While implementations of Generic Enablers developed in compliance with FI-WARE GE Open Specifications should be replaceable, components linked to a particular implementation of a Generic Enabler may not.

For more information, please contact:

Dr Payam Barnaghi

Contributing to the Future Internet (FI) through the development of innovative ecosystems

The goal of OUTSMART is to contribute to the Future Internet (FI) by developing five sustainable business eco-systems with FI technology at their core. These eco-systems aim to create a large variety of pilot services that can better utilise resources in their respective areas. The result is improved resource utilisation and a reduction in strain on the environment.

Reaching this goal requires the whole value chain, namely city authorities, utility operators, ICT companies as well as knowledge institutions. OUTSMART services and technologies are based on an open and standardised infrastructure as envisioned by the FI Private Public Partnership (FI PPP) and provided by a service framework designed to facilitate provisioning, development and access. 

To this extent, OUTSMART has:

  • Delivered a set of detailed requirements for an FI enabled platform and corresponding business framework able to support the above described eco-systems
  • Provided a specification for the use of both generic enablers developed by FI-WARE as well domain-specific ones so that they may be utilised in a Proof of Concept demonstration
  • Delivered a business framework specification which serves as blueprint for the foreseen local eco-systems so as to demonstrate their sustainability beyond the PPP funding lifetime
  • Delivered a detailed plan for pilot services in the envisioned local eco-systems, which act as initial light house show cases for Europe in the Utility and Environment applications domain. 

For the OUTSMART project, the University was responsible for providing management of the UK's ecosystem cluster. It was responsible for developing Smart Mobility use cases, with FIWARE technology at its foundation. It also developed a proof-of-concept application which utilised heterogeneous data streams to provide users with a real-time travel application. This application was called TRAVELsmarter.

Empowering IoT Through Cognitive Technologies

iCore is a research project with a key target of developing a cognitive framework for use in IoT environments. While cognition, knowledge building and autonomicity in general are notions widespread in the traditional fixed and mobile telecommunications world, the same cannot be claimed for the IoT world.

Something which reduces the otherwise almost endless opportunities arising from exploiting the vast amount of processing, sensing, actuating and communication resources offered by the internet connected devices in real life deployments, in a viable, secure, scalable and cost effective manner. 

Towards this end iCore is working towards developing a holistic cognitive framework, which covers all aspects of the management and exploitation of internet connected devices. From their proper representation and abstraction of their capabilities, hiding low level technological heterogeneity, to the efficient interworking and composition of capabilities, for provisioning of services of various levels of complexity always in a user friendly and automated way.

In order for the application/domain, agnostic nature of the framework to be demonstrated, several diverse in nature use cases are being considered by the project for prototyping instantiations of the framework to illustrate and highlight the iCore induced added value.

The University contributed to iCore by investigating cognitive approaches, covering all areas involved in the service provisioning chain, from the technology-unaware mapping of service requests efficiently, to the available every time resources and the efficient technology-aware utilization of them at real world device level.

Prototyping activities undertaken by UniS have been demonstrating the benefits of these approaches in the handling and management of meetings (Smart Meeting use case), covering the whole lifecycle of a meeting, from its organization, to its execution and the eventual wrap-up and aftermath.

Internet of Things Environment for Service Creation and Testing

To date, implementations of Internet of Things (IoT) architectures are confined to particular application areas and tailored to meet only the limited requirements of their specific applications. The silo solutions used in these individual sectors hinder the uptake and penetration of specific tailored services for Internet of Things applications, in particular for innovative business processes.

Hence the provisioning of IoT enabled business services (in short IoT services) is a time and cost extensive process. The complexity involved in data acquisition, quality control, context interpretation, decision support, and action control hinders uptake and penetration of specific tailored services for “Internet of Things” applications, in particular for innovative business processes. The challenge applies to object-to-object (O2O) and object-to-person (O2P) communication services. As a result, a lot of opportunities remain often unused in today's Internet-connected objects platforms.

To overcome technology & sector boundaries and therefore dynamically design and integrate new types of services and generate new business opportunities requires a dynamic service creation environment that gathers and exploits data and information from sensors and actuators that use different communication technologies/formats.

The EU FP7 IoT.est project develops a test-driven service creation environment for Internet of Things enabled business services. The service creation environment will enable the acquisition of data and control/actuation of sensors, objects and actuators. The project provides techniques and tools to describe, publish and instantiate IoT services that exploit data across domain boundaries and facilitate run-time monitoring, which enables autonomous service adaptation to environment/context and network parameter (e.g. QoS) changes.

IoT.est provides adaptable techniques and solutions for the creation and provision of IoT enabled business services by bringing together the three disciplines Internet of Things, Service Engineering and Testing.

The project consortium, that was lead by the University of Surrey, consists of 8 industry and academic partners. The main focus of the University of Surrey team in this project is on supporting goal-oriented and knowledge-driven service creation and provisioning through Semantic Web technologies.

The university has contributed to the areas of knowledge representation through interoperable description models, analysis of the semantic description of the Internet of Things-enabled services, environment and platform data to create methods for publication, distributed discovery mechanisms and run-time adaptation of the services.

The goal-oriented service creation enablers facilitate dynamic binding of matching services to workflow, integration of service testing in the service creation process and a dynamic deployment configuration based on semantic platform recommendation. Dealing with dynamicity and changes in the IoT environments is handled by including efficient monitoring and adaptation mechanisms in the service lifecycle.

For more information on the University's involvement in this project, please contact: 

Dr Suparna De

A coordinated action that supports the development of the European IoT community

Of all the proposed dimensions of the Future Internet, the Internet of Things (IoT) has the potential to most directly touch and affect every European citizen through its pervasive integration into their everyday activities in healthcare, transport, business, energy consumption and communications. The IoT will bring every citizen into close contact with the real world Internet that will bring benefits of immediacy, involvement, interaction and efficiency.

Additionally, the IoT impacts European enterprises, both in Business-to-Business (B2B) and Business-to-Consumer (B2C) markets, as the integration of IoT technologies into their processes enables greater efficiency, visibility and traceability and opens new markets. Already businesses have begun to incorporate these new technologies into their processes, but the integration is in its early stages and focussed on vertical markets.

While the IoT concept is at a peak on the “Gartner Hype Cycle”, it remains a research area that is interpreted by individuals and groups of industrials and academics in many different ways, resulting in a highly fragmented field featuring diverging approaches. Technologies that drove and still largely drive the term IoT originate from the Radio Frequency IDentification (RFID) sector, but other technologies increasingly have a stake and contribute to the concepts, but risk confusing and fragmenting the topic. Machine-to-Machine (M2M), Wireless Sensor and Actuator Networks (WS&AN) and generally Networked Embedded Devices (NED) are important technologies for the IoT.

This fragmentation inevitably leads to a lack of coherency that could hinder the integration of the IoT into the Future Internet and could prevent the IoT achieving its full potential for European businesses and citizens:  the IoT research communities are typically aligned with one or other of the current IoT strands; the development of common horizontal middleware is difficult; standardisation activities follow vertical application profiles. Overall, the major risk is that this fragmentation could prevent the technical solutions from achieving the critical mass and cost targets necessary for mass deployment of IoT-based solutions.

From the non-technical perspective, many issues are associated with IoT, whether the wide adoption of IoT-enabled application/consumer products by the end-user or simply the regulation of IoT are considered. As well are important the common understanding of economical and business implications of IoT and ethical issues brought by IoT, as IoT is still considered by many citizen as an invasive and potentially privacy-threatening technology.

The IoT-I project has proposed a number of instruments (and setting up an IoT International Forum was one of them) and actions that will reduce these risks and co-ordinate IoT research activities to enable European enterprises to show leadership in IoT, while addressing the societal implications of IoT for the European citizen.

During the course of the project IoT-I came up with the following results:

  • Building-up an IoT community and setting up an IoT International Forum where European and International actors and stakeholders in IoT can meet and debate technical and non-technical aspects associated with IoT
  • Three widely attended events were organised in 2011 and 2012
  • The IoT Forum will become a standalone legal entity early 2013 onward
  • Producing an extensive Strategic Research Agenda identifying IoT-related research challenges;
  • Identifying a set of strategic applications for IoT together with Business Models, and identifying barriers and challenges to their deployment and adoption
  • Producing reports on Social acceptance and impact evaluation
  • Producing report and web-site on Ethical issues associated with IoT and recommendations
  • Producing a white paper on Reference Model where the Reference Model proposed by the IoT-A is validated against existing IoT Reference Models and Architectures

For more information, please contact: 

Dr Francois Carrez

A unique city-scale experimental research facility in support of typical applications and services for a smart city

As part of the Future Internet Research and Experimentation (FIRE) initiative, the EU FP7 Project SmartSantander developed a large IoT experimental facility unique in its kind and available for experimentation to experimenters community, service providers and end-users.

Within the three years project, over 20000 sensors have been integrated into the testbed, by federating different sites across Europe, with the main deployment in the city of Santander and others in Guildford, Belgrade and Lubeck. Together with the support for a more traditional experimentation of protocols, algorithms for validation of new IoT technologies, a number of different use cases, ranging from smart parking monitoring, smart bus tracking and smart energy building monitoring, have been implemented thus generating a large amount of data accessible to experimenters through a federated Big Data cloud platform. 

Additionally, by including real users through the realization of two mobile apps, named Participatory Sensing and Augmented Reality deployed in the city of Santander, a large amount of sensing data generated by users mobile phones is added to the Big Data cloud platform and is continuously growing.

Within the SmartSantander project, the University of Surrey led the definition of the testbed architecture and was responsible for the second largest testbed deployment within the consortium. The Guildford testbed comprises of 200 TelosB nodes, freely reprogrammable and extended with additional sensing capabilities, including environmental and energy metering capabilities.

As service testbed has a number of experiments including real users has been carried out and generated a large amount of data in the context of energy monitoring in Smart Building. Additionally, the University of Surrey team developed a semantic testbed resource description and a large set of advanced tools integrated with the testbeds for IoT experiment configuration, control and analysis.

For more information, please contact: 

Prof Klaus Moessner

A European Lighthouse Integrated Project which addresses the Internet-of-Things Architecture

There has been much hype about the so-called “Internet of Things”. The idea of such a globally interconnected continuum emerged with the RFID technology, and this concept has considerably been extended to the current vision that envisages a plethora of heterogeneous objects interacting with the physical environment.

Today, a large number of different means are used to enable communication between heterogeneous devices. We see these as "Intranet of things" (see figure below), representing vertical silos that do not support interoperability. However, this balkanisation of efforts will lead to a predictable slowdown in devising a viable global solution. Furthermore, existing solutions do not address the scalability requirements for a future Internet of Things, they provide inappropriate models of governance and fundamentally neglect privacy and security in their design.
IoT-A, the Internet-of-Things Architecture, proposes the creation of an architectural reference model together with the definition of an initial set of key building blocks. Together they are envisioned as crucial foundations for fostering a future Internet of Things. Using an experimental paradigm, IoT-A will combine top-down reasoning about architectural principles and design guidelines with simulation and prototyping to explore the technical consequences of architectural design choices.

IoT-A will lead to the following tangible outcomes: 

  • Architectural reference model for the interoperability of Internet-of-Things systems, outlining principles and guidelines for the technical design of its protocols, interfaces, and algorithms
  • Corresponding mechanism for its efficient integration into the service layer of the Future Internet
  • Novel resolution infrastructure, allowing scalable look-up and discovery of Internet-of-Things resources, entities of the real world, and their associations
  • Novel platform components;
  • Implementation of real-life use cases demonstrating the benefits of the developed Architecture

After the end of IoT-A (end November 2013) the ARM sustenance will be ensured by the Forum Working Group on technology (at least) with the main aim of specifying specific “profiles” and pushing them to standardization.

For more information, please contact: 

Dr Francois Carrez

Integrating the Physical with the Digital World of the Network of the Future

In order to realise the vision of Ambient Intelligence in a future network and service environment, heterogeneous wireless sensor and actuator networks (WS&AN) have to be integrated into a common framework of global scale and made available to services and applications via universal service interfaces.

SENSEI creates an open, business driven architecture that fundamentally addresses the scalability problems for a large number of globally distributed WS&A devices. It provides necessary network and information management services to enable reliable and accurate context information retrieval and interaction with the physical environment. By adding mechanisms for accounting, security, privacy and trust it enables an open and secure market space for context-awareness and real world interaction.

Tangible results of the SENSEI project are:

  • A highly scalable architectural framework with corresponding protocol solutions that enable easy plug and play integration of a large number of globally distributed WS&AN into a global system – providing support for network and information management, security, privacy and trust and accounting.
  • An open service interface and corresponding semantic specification to unify the access to context information and actuation services offered by the system for services and applications.
  • Efficient WS&AN island solutions consisting of a set of cross-optimised and energy aware protocol stacks including an ultra low power multi-mode transceiver targeting 5nJ/bit.
  • Pan European test platform, enabling large scale experimental evaluation of the SENSEI results and execution of field trials - providing a tool for long term evaluation of WS&AN integration into the Future Internet.

For more information, please contact: 

Prof. Klaus Moessner

A Metropolis of Ubiquitous Services

m:Ciudad takes mobile device technology a step closer to mobile user-generated services (called micro-services).  It is a service infrastructure, a set of mobile tools and a platform to allow:

  • Instantaneous, on the go service creation and provision
  • Efficient context utilization: Automatic /Manual context-aware content generation and publication
  • Discovery, access and mobile-to-mobile communication in a very distributed and volatile way

The main components of the m:Ciudad architecture, with a clear focus on the various micro-service descriptions, is shown in the figure below. Therein:

  • SCK (Service Creation Kit): is used to create micro-service from scratch, or alternately to customise an existing one already published to the KWH and SWH;
  • SWH (Service Warehouse): it acts as a repository for service templates and description files;
  • KWH (Knowledge Warehouse): is the central place where is published any semantic information about the micro-services and related pieces of content;
  • SEE (Service Execution Environment): Resides on user’s terminals and executes the micro-services.

Semantics play an important role in the publishing process (see left-bottom picture) as it will ease the discovery of micro-services by members of the m:Ciudad community. Ontologies are widely  used to characterise micro-services and generated content

The Semantic Search Engine (not shown) is used to discover services based on advanced search criteria, and is also used to ease the service creation process, and ensure the consistency of the block based approach.

The University played an active role in the definition of the architecture, the definition of the general concepts and specifications of various parts (but the SEE) like the KWH, Semantic Search Engine, SWH, etc.

For more information on this project, please contact: 

Dr Francois Carrez

Capturing Ambient Intelligence for Beyond 3G Mobile Communication Systems through Wireless Sensor Networks

Ambient Intelligence is a key component for future beyond 3G mobile and wireless communication systems. However, the enabling technology that provides systems with information to allow for Ambient Intelligence has been neglected and currently consists of many independent modes of input, mainly relying on active user interactions or specialised sensor systems gathering information.

e-SENSE proposes a context capturing framework that enables the convergence of many input modalities, mainly focussing on energy efficient wireless sensor networks that are multi-sensory in their composition, heterogeneous in their networking, either mobile or integrated in the environment e.g. from single sensors to thousands or millions of sensors collecting information about the environment, a person or an object. This framework will be able to supply ambient intelligent systems with information in a transparent way hiding underlying technologies thus enabling simple integration.

For more information on this project, please contact:

Prof Klaus Moessner

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