The requirements for the next generation of IoT can be classified as the need for standard middleware and application protocols. The middleware protocol should abstract the underlying network complexity of heterogeneous devices (sensors, actuators, and various other processors) and provide a simplified API for the application protocol to develop autonomous applications that lead users a natural way of interacting with the physical environment. The standardization expected here is quite analogous to the Internet and its specifications.
According to Forester Research, identity and access management (IAM) will be an essential tool in protecting people and objects in the IoT. Companies like One Identity are addressing the need for IAM to be an essential component in Next Gen IoT as part of the broader digital transformation conversation. As more and more companies become part of the IoT, proper identity and access management will be crucial for survival.
The widespread usage of the Internet today is due to its standardization. The standard network protocols like TCP and IP allow connectivity of many computers together over a variety of networking technologies. Application protocols like HTTP, SOAP, FTP, etc. enable many useful applications to be implemented, simply abstracting the underline network complexity over TCP/IP. A similar standardization is required for IoT to bring it to the next level, fulfilling characteristics of Ubiquitous Computing.
Standard Middleware Protocol
The number of IoT devices are expected to grow exponentially in upcoming years. A standard middleware protocol should support management of large-scale IoT, and their overwhelming data flows. Also, the middleware protocol should allow any “thing” to join and leave the network of IoT efficiently.
As it is going to be an open middleware platform, there would be new, emerging security risks. The middleware protocol should guarantee basic Security and Privacy Principles for IoT and their data.
In addition, the middleware protocol should encourage the general community to contribute more IoT devices to the network, which will make our environment.
Standard Application Protocol
Unlike the existing IoT approaches, which offer closed access to specific things (sensors, actuators, and other devices), the new middleware protocol will allow the development of applications that use of a pool of IoT. The application protocol should direct the development of autonomous applications, which encourage a natural way of interacting with physical things. The applications should lead to a context-aware and responsive environment. Also, the applications should be capable of reasoning large-scale data sets, which confirm users’ goals and preferences.
The applications will be developed and contributed to by many individuals with different goals. Therefore, the applications should be able to communicate and cooperate with each other without making any conflicts. As all these applications are running on a same pool of things, the applications themselves should be able to negotiate with each other when accessing the shared set of IoT.
Also, there can be scarce things abstracted from the middleware protocol. These include some expensive sensor or actuator devices, which are contributed to by some government or commercial parties. The application protocol should be able to reach agreement in accessing these scarce IoT.