Dominique Guinard

Dom Guinard is the CTO and co-founder of EVRYTHNG, a large-scale Web of Things cloud platform making products smart by connecting them to the Web. He holds a Ph.D. from ETH Zurich, where he worked on the early concepts of the Web of Things architecture: an open application layer for the Internet of Things. Before this, Dom spent a decade working on a number of IoT projects: large-scale RFID networks with Sun Microsystems, at the Auto-ID Labs Zurich with Nokia Research on the role of mobiles phones in the IoT, at the MIT Auto-ID labs on bringing the EPCGlobal RFID network to the cloud, and four years at SAP on service based-software architectures integrating tagged objects and Wireless Sensor Networks with business processes. Dom co-founded Webofthings.org and joined the Web of Things Interest Group at W3C with EVRYTHNG as a founding member organisation. In 2011, Dominique was listed 5th amongst the top 100 IoT thinkers by Postscapes. Early in 2012, his Ph.D. research was granted the ETH Medal.

Helping Things in the IoT speak the same language

We need to build APIs for Things that are interoperable — we need an application layer for the IoT.

Register for our free webcast “Building IoT Systems with Web Standards,” which will be hosted by Vlad Trifa and Dominique Guinard on December 8, 2015, at 10 a.m. PT.

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When the term “IoT” was first coined, the idea was to move from a model where data is generated by humans bridging media gaps between the physical and the virtual worlds to a model where data is gathered by the Things themselves.

Fifteen years later, we’re moving in the right direction to make this a reality, but we still have several challenges ahead. One major challenge is interoperability: many Things do talk using the Internet, but they don’t talk the same language. Having been involved in the IoT for about as long as it’s been around, I’m pretty sure of one thing: a universal networking protocol for the IoT will never exist — and for a good reason! The IoT is a vast world where the needs of one field (e.g. Industry 4.0) to another (e.g. the smart home) are fundamentally different. As a consequence, the list of automation protocols is actually growing, not shrinking.

A consequence of these different needs is the focus on the connectivity aspect of the IoT. This is not unusual, but as we ascend the pyramid of IoT needs, we must think about the data interoperability of Things. We need to build APIs for Things that are interoperable; in short, we need an application layer for the IoT.

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