HyperCat Spec Aims for Internet of Things Interoperability
The specification was developed by an English consortium that includes IBM, Intel and ARM as well as various UK startups.A U.K.-based consortium of tech companies that includes IBM, Intel and ARM has developed a new specification for the Internet of things that is designed to make it easier for connected systems to automatically find and make sense of data. According to the group, which was funded by almost $11 million by the Technology Strategy Board—the innovation agency in the United Kingdom—the HyperCat spec will help fuel the drive toward the Internet of things (IoT) by enabling connected machines and sensors to more easily break out of vertical silos and discover data and resources across the Internet, and to do so with minimal human intervention. With HyperCat, systems and sensors that will make up the IoT will be able to see what data and resources can be found on a specific data hub, or can search for particular types of data anywhere on the Internet. As an example, the consortium pointed to an application that only understands temperature measurements. With HyperCat, connected systems running the application would be able to find that type of data from among the massive amounts of unrelated data that's on the Internet. "HyperCat has been designed to move us from the Internet of Silos to the Internet of Things," Pilgrim Beart, CEO of IoT startup 1248, said in a statement. "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 IoT."
More than 40 tech vendors in the United Kingdom—including such established vendors as BT and startups from 1248 to Flexeye—are part of the consortium that developed HyperCat. Andrew Tyrer, digital lead specialist for the Technology Strategy Board, said in a statement that the creation of the spec not only is a tribute to the efforts of the vendors involved and offers the potential to make the IoT much more workable, but that HyperCat also holds the potential "in the future to put the UK at the forefront of IoT development and deployment."