London, June 27, 2014: Over 40 organisations and companies from around the world have joined hands in a United Kingdom (UK) Technology Strategy Board-led initiative to develop an Internet of Things (IoT) data sharing standard which, they hope, will level the playing field for tech giants as well as small businesses vying for the IoT business.
The organisations include IBM, ARM and BT, and a number of startups and universities working on the project, funded with £6.4m by the UK Government’s Strategy Board, to allow sensors and devices to share data much more easily.
The result, HyperCat (Cat for Catalogue), an open catalogue specification that allows applications to discover and make sense of data automatically, without human intervention. The new specification effectively acts as an address book for data hubs holding information transmitted by net-connected devices, according to a press statement by the UK Technology Board.
The Board is the UK’s innovation agency, with an aim to accelerate economic growth by stimulating and supporting business-led innovation. Sponsored by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), it strives to bring together business, research and the public sector, supporting and accelerating the development of innovative products and services to meet market needs, tackle major societal challenges and help build the future economy.
HyperCat will allow an app to ask a hub what types of data it holds and what permissions it needs to access them. It works by creating an online catalog tagged with metadata that can be read by other IoT devices.
The HyperCat specification is an extremely simple yet powerful, thin interoperability layer
for the IoT. For example, if an application only understands temperature measurements, HyperCat provide a means to search for and discover this type of data-buried amongst other data that the application may not understand.
Over the past few years the Technology Strategy Board has brought people together in
workshops and competitions to work out what the barriers to IoT really are, which proved an excellent foundation for this work,” said Andrew Tyrer, Digital Lead Specialist at the
Technology Strategy Board. “We’re delighted that so many companies managed to co-
operate so successfully and are excited by the potential for HyperCat in the future
to put the UK at the forefront of IoT development and deployment.”