A QUIET REVOLUTION IS
GAINING PACE FAST. IT’S TIME
TO PREPARE FOR A SILENT
EXPLOSION OF DATA, FROM
THAT WILL CHANGE OUR
PLANET FOREVER. THE
IMPACT SHOULD NOT BE
90% of today’s data didn’t exist two years
ago. But the explosion has barely begun.
Tens of billions of sensors continually
monitoring our lives, homes, offices,
cities and environment will generate raw
data orders of magnitude greater than
anything we have experienced. This raw
data will become the building blocks of an
increasingly rich virtual representation of
our real world. A world more commonly
known as the Internet of Things or IoT.
After the explosion, a new world order
will emerge. Security of this virtual world
will be critical. To ensure its benefits to
mankind, security must be built in from the
ground up and not be an afterthought.
Industry 1.0 was the invention of mechanical help
Industry 2.0 was mass production
Industry 3.0 brought electronics and control systems
Industry 4.0 is peer-to-peer communication between
products, systems and machines
The IoT is not the future. It’s here. Now. At the
end of 2013, 75% of enterprises from across major
industries are already exploring the IoT landscape
and 40% of the boardroom is regularly discussing
IoT. By 2017, 96% of enterprises expect to be using
IoT in some respect.*
Whilst falling hardware costs mean we can
probably capture and harness the coming explosion
of data from things, extracting real value from it
will require new talent and skills. A lack of these
skills is considered the top obstacle to exploiting
the IoT. Few people know today what successful
business models will look like or how to manage the
commercial sharing of the data. But exploration now
will pay benefits soon. Organisations that are slow to
integrate IoT will fall behind the competition.
Don’t wait. Don’t fear the unknown.
Don’t get left behind.
* Economist Intelligence. The Internet of Things Business Index.
Because of differing views about which directions
technology might develop, nobody knew which
business models would work during the first phase
of the Internet. If it was obvious, everyone would
It’s the same today. Business models could take
a decade to solidify. By then, new leaders will have
established scale and built defensible models and it
will be too late to catch up.
One point that is generally agreed is that there
are $trillions up for grabs. And the IoT is not just
for manufacturing new things: service providers are
also already offering new IoT products. For example,
insurance companies are pricing premiums based on
Now is the time to start experimenting with new
models to: get closer to your customers; unlock new
revenues from existing products and services; inspire
new working practices or processes; blur the divide
between internal operations and external solutions;
rethink commercial agreements and consider
subscription or usage models.
Organisations looking to flourish and advance their
IoT capabilities successfully cannot rely entirely on
their own research or develop solutions in a silo.
They should adopt a different mindset. They
should collaborate and share both risks and rewards.
They should systematically combine products,
services and paths to market across a broad IoT
ecosystem*. They should license their processes
and inventions, and buy licences from others. They
should create joint ventures or spin offs. They should
integrate external and internal innovation to exploit
their competitive advantages.
The market is growing rapidly and is large enough
to support an abundance of specialist organisations,
many of which don’t even exist today.
*A community of large and small IoT organisations (data
publishers and owners, technology firms, application developers,
and content subscribers) working together to create interoperable
and interconnected networks of products, services, operations
and processes to create valuable solutions.
50 BILLION INTERNET
CONNECTED DEVICES BY
2020. BUT THE DEVICE IS
NOT THE ‘THING’, USUALLY.
It’s the temperature of the living room that matters,
not the temperature sensor that measures it. It’s
the speed at which I am running that matters, not
the movement sensors in my shoes. The context
of the data is critical. A device ‘represents’ a thing,
anything, and especially anyone*.
Standard ontologies (structural frameworks for
organizing information) of things will develop to
provide context to turn data into information and
allow that information to be shared and reused
across applications, enterprises and community
* Yes, you’re a thing in the IoT!
50 BILLION DEVICES,
8 BILLION PEOPLE BY 2020.
Some things will have many devices that represent
them, especially people.
There will be many devices that represent you.
You need to have control over them.
Some of these devices will be dumb sensors, with
minimal power, processing or storage capabilities.
Some will be smart. They will all be connected to
other devices in the IoT.
A HUB IS A CONNECTED,
SMART SERVICE (RUNNING ON
A DEVICE) WITH PROPERTIES
THAT ALLOW PRODUCERS
AND CONSUMERS OF DATA
TO COME TOGETHER AND
A hub can sit at the outer edge of a network or in a
public or private cloud. Hubs will vary in the services
they provide, some will provide simple store and
forward capabilities, others will be more intelligent
and provide extra services such as the management
of other devices (implementing power, storage and
Some hubs will talk to other hubs. A hub may be
a satellite of another hub. Hubs will allow developers
to access APIs to develop additional applications or
services. A Smart Phone is a composite device that
acts as a sensor and a hub.
Hubs will specialise to address different types of
things; lots of different things will mean lots of hubs.
Trust in hubs will be essential. If you can’t trust the
hub, you can’t trust the data. Hubs must be gateways
of trust. There’s a lot of trust to be built.
The world is not homogeneous. The IoT will not be
Many hubs, services and data aggregators will be
oriented around communities with focus directed
towards the concern of residents of locations. Many
services delivered in the emerging global IoT will
be ‘hyperlocal’. For example, services delivered
on a university campus in the UK will address very
different needs than services delivered to a hospital
No matter what service is delivered, the network
from data source to service consumption must be
safe and secure.
“The Queue is Long”
People, and the devices that represent them, form a
vital mobile sensor network which is accelerating at
The IoT will tap into our senses to capture
information about things. Today, our brains act as a
‘bio-hub’ and our fingers transmit data ‘manually’.
Tomorrow, new technologies will augment our senses
and we may not need our fingers to transmit.
Sharing information I collect with my eyes about
the length of the queue at my coffee shop adds fresh
data to the coffee shop thing.
But, if I say the queue is long and you say it’s
short, who will the world believe? Our virtual
reputation will mean more in the future.
Virtual worlds rely on trusted foundations.
HOW DO I KNOW THE LIGHT IS
REALLY ON IN THE KITCHEN?
OR THAT THE TEMPERATURE
OF THE FRIDGE IS REALLY 3˚?
IF THE SENSOR WAS MOVED
TO ANOTHER ROOM OR
A DIFFERENT FRIDGE
THE READING WOULD BE
THE PROCESSES OF BONDING
DEVICES TO THINGS IS A KEY
STEP TO ENSURE TRUST IN
Who has the authority to provision new devices
and bond them to things? Who has the authority
to decommission a device? Who is accountable for
ensuring service levels are met across the network?
Who do I trust to set up new services? Who do I trust
to see the information? How do I know it is really
them? How have they been authenticated onto the
system? Who has permission to input new information
into the system? Who sets the rules? Who audits the
system? What security processes are in place across the
These and other questions about authentication,
authorisation and accountability will be key for reliable
and trusted services to be delivered. Smart hubs will
need to be at the centre of solutions to address them in
a systematic way.
ME MY RULES
MY DEVICES MY RULES
MY DATA MY RULES
MY EXPERIENCE MY RULES
Provenance of data, from the French provenir ‘to come
from’, refers to a combination of processes including:
• Authenticating the original source (originator) and
ownership of data
• Calibration of sensors
• Ensuring licensing requirements and other
obligations are fulfilled
• Tracking data through all transformations and
Effective provenance processes will allow defects
and issues to be identified and analysed. Secure
provenance refers to providing integrity and
confidentiality guarantees to provenance information.
POWER TO THE
FOR DEVICES TO PROCESS,
TRANSMIT AND STORE
DATA THEY NEED POWER.
A SYSTEM SHOULD KNOW
THAT A BATTERY IS ABOUT
TO RUN OUT BEFORE THE
DEVICE GOES DARK.
A reliable solution will require services to know the
power needs of their devices, monitor and manage
availability, and automatically schedule and perform
Primary hubs may need to rely on secondary hubs
to provide some of these key support services.
IoT systems that operate within information silos
and monolithic stacks will have limited utility, be
expensive to maintain and be limited to very niche
markets. The rapid growth of the IoT will be built
on networks of devices that communicate and
exchange data with other devices.
These connected devices, supported by ‘hub
services’, must exhibit both syntactic and semantic
‘interoperability’, both vertically from data to user
and horizontally from hub-to-hub.
Syntactic interoperability refers to agreed
standards around data formats, communication
protocols and access policies.
Semantic interoperability refers to the ability
for multiple systems to interpret the information
exchanged meaningfully and accurately in order to
produce useful results. This will require unambiguous
common information exchange reference models,
ontologies and taxonomies, and open APIs.
HYPERCAT* IS A HYPERMEDIA
DESIGNED FOR EXPOSING
INFORMATION ABOUT IOT
ASSETS OVER THE WEB.
HyperCat is simple to work with and allows
developers to publish linked-data descriptions of
resources. It allows a server to provide a set of
resources to a client, each with a set of semantic
annotations. Implementers are free to choose or
invent any set of annotations to suit their needs. A
set of best practices and tools are currently under
development. Where implementers choose similar
or overlapping semantics, the possibilities for
interoperability are increased.
* Hypercat was developed to solve a real need for interoperability
amongst eight consortia projects funded by TSB (representing
nearly 50 organisations) including: eyehub, DISTANCE, IoTBay,
i-MOVE, International Airport, OpenIOT, Smart Streets & STRIDE.
See www.eyehubiot.com/hypercat for more details.
Our new virtual worlds must be constructed with
great rigour, flexibility and extensibility. One elegant
and integrated way to do this is by using a new
information substrate known as ‘Smart Data’.
Smart Data borrows extensible configuration
characteristics from the world of online gaming
and their underlying engines and tools. Smart Data
extends these capabilities by addressing critical issues
head on, such as: trusted collaboration, entitlement
and policy management, authentication, auditability,
analytics, data provenance, data security, and real
time data exchange with the physical world of things.
SMART, SECURE HUBS USE SMART DATA.
Eyehub has a special focus on security of the
IoT and the connected people, organisations
and cities. Its flagship demonstration application
(developed by Mangeplaces), MyGuardian, aims
to protect students and university staff.
EyeHub is an open innovation IoT ecosystem and
testbed, based at the University of Surrey’s campus
and extending into the adjacent town of Guildford. It
represents a contained small city complex with a ready
made ecosystem of 1,000s of heterogeneous sensors,
data managers, application developers, hardware
researchers as well as businesses and citizens to serve.
Eyehub is comprised of large and small
organisations from the public and private sectors,
building systems around a set of hubs, engineered
by Flexeye. It uses Smart Data to model things and
libraries. Other founding members of the consortia
include: University of Surrey, IBM, Eseye, Axillium, NPL,
Designswarm, Manageplaces and the ODI.
Eyehub is exploring and sharing information around
the themes laid out in this booklet, developing use
cases and demonstration applications.
Find out more about us by visiting www.eyehubiot.com
.. in a quiet revolution to connect things, people,
organisations, cities and nations - securely.
EyeHub is an exciting collaboration between the
public and private sectors, innovating in an area that
has huge global potential. We are hosting a series of
hackathons, developer forums, lunches and seminars
to develop an ‘open innovation IoT ecosystem’. We are
bringing together thought leaders to discuss critical
topics under the theme ‘Driving Secure Internet of
Things Innovation’ and experiment with models, ideas
Please drop me an email at:
firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to join us.
Lord Erroll, Chairman of the Flexeye Advisory Board
PS. To explore how Eyehub could help your organisation,
please visit www.eyehubiot.com.