Does the IoT need standards? The clue is in the name


On 31st July Machina Research published “Standards for the Internet of Things”, a report which examines existing and emerging standards for communications, connectivity, networking, service layers, data abstraction and discoverability; all elements critical for the success of the IoT. It was interesting to place this standards work in the context of our wider research on M2M and IoT. In our view M2M is largely about connecting and managing things, while IoT requires a horizontal approach where data from multiple sources is available for use in a functionally separate application development environment. In both, standards are critical.

Matt Hatton, Machina Research
Matt Hatton, Machina Research

We distinguish between two main types of standards. There are those that are ‘downward-facing’ that establish connectivity with devices. This would include cellular, Bluetooth, etc.  We could consider these to be classic M2M technologies, since they relate to the provision of connectivity and little more. Here there are both standards, and non-standards based approaches to connecting devices. The history of communications technologies tells us that communications technologies based on standards tend to dominate. Barriers to entry are lower and scale is greater. We would not preclude the success of a proprietary access technology. Much depends on the commercial terms that can be offered by the organisation. In general, however, standards will tend to win out. Naturally, the diversity of requirements within the IoT means that there will be no single ‘winner’ in terms of wireless standards. Different technologies will be needed in different circumstances.

The ‘upward-facing’ standards are a little more intriguing. The aim with these is to provide common application interfaces for end users and application developers. Until now this has consisted of a mish-mash of proprietary platforms, including many that are very specific to particular verticals, supplemented by various standards. For vertical-specific ‘Subnets of Things’ to give way to the Internet of Things requires the emergence of a small number of leading solutions across connectivity and service layers. The OneM2M initiative should become the standard framework, but it’s an ambitious project (to say the least) and there’s always the fear that it will get bogged down in bureaucracy and hamstrung by the sheer diversity of interest groups that want to have their say.

In the meantime, the challenges of supporting the IoT move on, and so do standardisation initiatives. The key themes today are abstraction, semantics, and discoverability and there is much work ongoing from the likes of the OMA (with the LightweightM2M protocol), the Eclipse Foundation, HyperCat and AllJoyn.

Does the IoT need standards? The clue is in the name. Almost by definition the inter-networking of different devices, which is a requisite part of IoT, is facilitated by the use of standards-based technology. Where would the internet be without standards? Certainly not the internet as we know it.

You can find more details on the report Standards for the Internet of Things here:



Sateliot works with AWS on cloud native 5G satellite network to connect IoT devices directly to satellites

Posted on: October 4, 2022

San Diego, United States – Sateliot, a satellite telecommunications operator, is working with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to build a cloud native 5G service designed to provide customers with secure and reliable narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) connectivity over non-terrestrial network using its low earth orbit (LEO) satellite constellation. These revolutionary satellites act as cell towers from

Read more

WISeKey selected by ODIN Solutions to secure its IoT sensors and applications and enable them with WISeSAT satellite communications

Posted on: October 4, 2022

WISeKey International Holding, a security certificate authority and provider of identity solutions, announced at the Smart Agrifood Summit held in Málaga, Spain that it has been selected by ODIN Solutions, a Spanish multidisciplinary IoT integrator and sensor manufacturer, to integrate WISeKey secure technology within their IoT sensor leveraging of VaultIC Secure elements.

Read more

The IoT Adoption Boom – Everything You Need to Know

Posted on: September 28, 2022

In an age when we seem to go through technology boom after technology boom, it’s hard to imagine one sticking out. However, IoT adoption, or the Internet of Things adoption, is leading the charge to dominate the next decade’s discussion around business IT. Below, we’ll discuss the current boom, what’s driving it, where it’s going,

Read more

9 IoT applications that will change everything

Posted on: September 1, 2021

Whether you are a future-minded CEO, tech-driven CEO or IT leader, you’ve come across the term IoT before. It’s often used alongside superlatives regarding how it will revolutionize the way you work, play, and live. But is it just another buzzword, or is it the as-promised technological holy grail? The truth is that Internet of

Read more

Which IoT Platform 2021? IoT Now Enterprise Buyers’ Guide

Posted on: August 30, 2021

There are several different parts in a complete IoT solution, all of which must work together to get the result needed, write IoT Now Enterprise Buyers’ Guide – Which IoT Platform 2021? authors Robin Duke-Woolley, the CEO and Bill Ingle, a senior analyst, at Beecham Research. Figure 1 shows these parts and, although not all

Read more

CAT-M1 vs NB-IoT – examining the real differences

Posted on: June 21, 2021

As industry players look to provide the next generation of IoT connectivity, two different standards have emerged under release 13 of 3GPP – CAT-M1 and NB-IoT.

Read more

IoT and home automation: What does the future hold?

Posted on: June 10, 2020

Once a dream, home automation using iot is slowly but steadily becoming a part of daily lives around the world. In fact, it is believed that the global market for smart home automation will reach $40 billion by 2020.

Read more

5 challenges still facing the Internet of Things

Posted on: June 3, 2020

The Internet of Things (IoT) has quickly become a huge part of how people live, communicate and do business. All around the world, web-enabled devices are turning our world into a more switched-on place to live.

Read more

What is IoT?

Posted on: July 7, 2019

What is IoT Data as a new oil IoT connectivity What is IoT video So what’s IoT? The phrase ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) is officially everywhere. It constantly shows up in my Google news feed, the weekend tech supplements are waxing lyrical about it and the volume of marketing emails I receive advertising ‘smart, connected

Read more
IoT Newsletter

Join the IoT Now online community for FREE, to receive: Exclusive offers for entry to all the IoT events that matter, round the world

Free access to a huge selection of the latest IoT analyst reports and industry whitepapers

The latest IoT news, as it breaks, to your inbox