Within the framework of the European funded project "OpenIoT" Fraunhofer IOSB is working on the topic "Internet of Things". The name "OpenIoT" stands for "Open (Source)" and "Internet of Things, IoT". The aim of OpenIoT is the development of an open infrastructure available free of charge - a vision with the help of which the Internet of Things is to be realised.
In addition to the technically demanding project goals, such as a semantic description and processing of things and information about things, the project focuses on a practical application of the developments. The Fraunhofer IOSB is pursuing an application from the "Smart City" area. In concrete terms, a "CampusGuide" is being developed in cooperation with the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). This should enable students to interact with objects on the university campus and to communicate with other students via such objects.
This adds a dimension to the "Internet of People", with its functions from social networks, namely the "Internet of Things", which surrounds students in their campus environment. For example, workspaces can become part of a working group, where working documents are shared, or meetings can be arranged. Exercise sheets or books can contribute to communication in a learning group as part of a discussion forum. Sensors can measure the length of queues in front of the cafeteria, or the occupancy status of workspaces.
The "cloud" plays a very decisive role here with regard to the expected data volumes and also the availability of an Internet of Things. The number of devices and sensors involved, as well as the associated data, will be very large on the one hand, and on the other, distributed among many players. Access to the data must be very fast and reliable. This is to be achieved through an architecture that provides for replication and networking of spatially distributed data storage and acquisition, as well as usage control via a cloud infrastructure, even in the basic design.
The Internet of Things will certainly have to become an integral part of the Internet of the future. This will require efficient models for the provision of IT services, which in particular enable integration into cloud environments. A particular challenge will arise in the area of security and privacy.
The new dimension of "things on the Internet" and their association with personal data and social networks will provide applications with an enhanced ability to analyse situations. In the example of the CampusGuide, when a student confirms his room reservation together with the access control, and then contacts fellow students in the course of his work via the electronic identification of a practice sheet, a considerable part of a student's privacy is already captured with an infrastructure such as OpenIoT. The OpenIoT approach attempts to take these aspects into account in the design of the infrastructure in order to create an efficient and transparent technical basis.
A further focus is the investigation of business models for the Internet of Things. With the new possibilities of OpenIoT, new application models will also become possible. How the actors and their service relationships will change in the process is the subject of the study.