A consortium of UK tech companies, including ARM, BT and IBM, has developed a new interoperable IoT specification that allows apps to break out of vertical silos and discover data from a range of other services.
The makers of the HyperCat specification said it allows apps to discover information and resources in a specific data hub. In addition, it will provide a common language for companies working in the IoT sector to use.
Pilgrim Beart, CEO of IoT start-up 1248, one of the companies that worked on the project, said: “HyperCat has been designed to move us from the Internet of Silos to the Internet of Things. Previously, applications were vertically-integrated, working only with specific services, which confines data to narrow vertical silos.
“HyperCat enables apps to discover data across all services, freeing machines from the human programmer bottleneck and allowing a many-to-many relationship to develop, which is the key to the IoT.”
HyperCat was developed by more than 40 companies and had its €5.75 million funding provided by the UK Government’s Innovation Agency, the Technology Strategy Board.
Amyas Phillips, IoT Research Entrepreneur at ARM, said it has been using HyperCat at its own offices: “We are using HyperCat at our Cambridge headquarters to share data such as office occupancy, energy use and even car park lighting between different applications.
“By linking our infrastructure in real-time we are reducing our energy costs and generating other information including external temperature data that others can use. This is a research project but it has proven tangible benefits that consumers and enterprises can gain from a more connected world.”
Andy Stanford-Clark, Master Inventor at IBM UK, added: “We’ve been able to create whole new applications very quickly. For example, we can take illumination data from streetlights belonging to another project cluster and display it on our own application. Being able to explore the HyperCat metadata in human and machine readable formats makes it easy to mash-up new applications.”
A number of IoT projects are under way across the UK. Last month, BT and M2M specialist Neul joined a consortium building an IoT network in Milton Keynes.