With the expansion of the Internet of Things (IoT), and the diversity of products and
technologies, the one thing that everyone agrees on is that it's time to start agreeing:
the Internet of Things needs standards. Many agree that it needs open standards, like
those that underpin the Web.
Obviously, a Web of Things is going to be quite different from the Web of Documents and
Applications: it'll be much more fine-grained and much more "buzzy", with many sensors
and actuators working together with many hubs and services. It's more likely to be at
home with the next generation of the Internet Protocol: IPv6.
To meet the fine-grained and buzzy nature of the IoT, the
Constrained Application Protocol, or CoAP,
was created. CoAP is an open Internet standard for the Web of Things. It's based
on the Web's core pipe: HTTP, but has many differences to allow it to be used by very
resource-constrained devices and local radio networks.
CoAP can be used in many different ways, but there's a danger that a lack of clarity in
exactly how it's used means it doesn't achieve its full potential to link up the world's
This article proposes a simple and clear way that CoAP could be used to build a uniform,
global, decentralised Web of interacting and discoverable Things.
This article first appeared on the ThoughtWorks Insights pages.