Comrades, I have the feeling (okay it’s actually a fact) that the web of things is actually too much of a spiritual feeling, an aetherical concept with a lacking connection with the real world. In short, tons of people asking me “what the hell is all this fuss about Web of Things? Is it not the same as Internet of things? I don’t get it dude? Why not just use CORBA?”. Well, let me disappoint you. For many, it will be the same shock as learning that Santa Claus doesn’t exist (sorry for those who didn’t know that either).
The Web is NOT the same thing as the Internet. And that’s central in our visions. Internet refers just to the physical network formed by bilions of computers connected together and is not what you see in your browser. Internet is the lower layer which connects your browser (or mail client, or chat client, or game, etc) with a server. The Web is the layer above, and how the data that gets transferred (usually over HTTP) between your browser and your server. It’s about the HTML pages you see for example. It’s the RSS feeds you read. Many people claimed (and still do) that HTTP is cool for simple things, but it is not good enough for building solid, robust, scalable, and bla bla bla types of enterprise, business, industrial, whatever applications. It is simply not serious enough. Well, I think it’s just scalable, simple and open, and that matters (2 bilions people might not be that wrong when using it daily). Indeed, HTTP is certainly not the *best* protocol ever for any application, but it’s certainly one of the best for *most* applications. That’s what the WEB of things is about, to reuse protocols that made the WWW so sucessful(URI, XML, RSS, and alike), and extend them for physical devices, as they were initially designed for hypermedia documents.
Maybe (certainly), our vision is ambitious, it is about building the Web of tomorrow. A web where objects in the real world are plug and playable on the Web, they have their own Web pages, but more importantly, they are active beings on the Web. They can blog, they can vote, they can chat, they can be friends. Your house can send you emails, your cat can ring your bell to get back in the house. Unlike the smart fridge vision 😉 it’s not just about connecting things to the internet, it’s about allowing people to build easily whatever application they want on top of web-enabled devices. It’s going a step further and thinking why most smart bridges and web-connected things have failed? Well, because each product came with it’s own protocol and tons of competing protocols are used, which makes it difficult for a single one to stand out. And that’s why we propose to build a simple and open infrastructure to bind them all, and this one should be based on existing statndards already widely used: the Web. I’m currently writing a white paper to describe our vision, will put it online in a couple of days, so stay tuned.
We should really put some pictures to go with our posts, coz just plain text feels like geeky, no?