According to the latest consumer trend reports, the number of connected devices is expected to rise to 29 billion by 2022, with forecasts predicting that the number of IoT devices with cellular connections will increase to 1.5 billion. As a result, a greater awareness of the value of IoT solutions is driving demand. 3GPP’s standardization of cellular IoT technologies and the availability of low-cost, long-service life connectivity solutions is making it easier to service this demand.
With these expanding opportunities and innovative developments, the standardization of IoT technologies will prove to be paramount to the success and continued growth of the industry. Companies such as oneM2M are ensuring that specific standards addressing new requirements are the bedrock for this advancement.
In 2012, eight of the world’s preeminent Standards Development Organizations (SDOs) recognized the value of an international standard and formed the oneM2M Partnership Project. Representing China, Europe, Japan, Korea, India and North America, eight SDOs comprising ARIB, ATIS, CCSA, ETSI, TIA, TSDSI, TTA, TTC and over 200 industry and academic organisations began work on the oneM2M standard.
An end-to-end technology
There are many standards for IoT devices and the communications technologies. The end-to-end view of IoT involves one or more devices communicating their data to applications either directly or via intermediate gateways. The process of standardizing IoT solutions requires an approach that addresses all elements in the communications chain.
For example, oneM2M achieves this through a common machine-to-machine (M2M) service layer. This layer provides a set of middleware capabilities between IoT applications and IoT devices. In doing so, oneM2M breaks down silos by focusing on the horizontal services that are common to all IoT deployments, such as. communications, data management and security. OneM2M standards achieve this with agents in devices and applications. These agents interoperate with common service functions that can reside in cloud or enterprise IoT platforms, as well as local gateways to create a consistent, end-to-end management environment.
In addition, oneM2M bridges different environments through the standardization of an interworking proxy function. In the case of industrial internet scenarios, this approach integrates Modbus and OSGi communications devices. The design of oneM2M technical standards exposes an abstracted API to IoT applications. This simplifies the process for developers because they no longer have to build a full IoT stack for each of their deployments, reducing time-to-market of IoT services and applications. Organizations can use the standards to enable the integration of existing technologies via a set of common services.
Age isn’t everything
There are many ways to assess maturity. Age is the most obvious of approaches. However, with a technology standard such as oneM2M, a multi-dimensional approach is required.
In addition to the issue of adoption, it is useful to consider the prospects for growth by reference to the diversity of applications and how its ecosystem is expanding. The early applications of oneM2M standards focused on platforms to manage devices and sources of IoT data.
An evolving standard to address new IoT requirements
As part of efforts to address new requirements in the IoT market, organizations such as oneM2M continue to add new capabilities to their latest specifications, such as establishing principles between IoT devices through enhancements for several vertical markets, improved security and interworking with legacy IoT standards.
The emergence of the IoT has opened the door to a new era of innovation and commercial opportunities. However, the full potential of this market will only be achieved if reliable, secure and mature standards are in place.
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