Internet of Things

The IoT is bridging the gap between the virtual, digital and physical worlds by bringing together people, processes, data and things while generating knowledge through IoT applications and platforms. IoT achieves this addressing security, privacy and trust issues across these dimensions in an era where technology, computing power, connectivity, network capacity and the number and types of smart devices are all expected to increase. In this context, IoT is driving the digital transformation.

Smart IoT applications with sensing and actuation embedded in “things” are creating smart environments based on hyperconnectivity; the high density of sensing and actuation coverage allows a qualitative change in the way people interact with the intelligent environment cyberspaces, from using appliances at home to caring for patients or elderly persons. The massive deployment of IoT devices creates systems of systems that synergistically interact to form totally new and unpredictable services, providing an unprecedented economic impact that offers multiple opportunities. The potential of the IoT is underexploited; the physical and the intelligent are largely disconnected, requiring a lot of manual effort to find, integrate and use information in a meaningful way. IoT and its advances in intelligent spaces can be categorized with the key technologies at the core of the future Internet. Intelligent spaces are created and enriched by the IoT, in which the traditional distinction between network and device is starting to blur as the functionalities of the two become indistinguishable.

The future challenge is to foster the deployment of IoT solutions in Europe through integration of advanced IoT technologies across the value chain, demonstration of multiple IoT applications at scale and in a usage context, and as close as possible to operational conditions. Compared to existing solutions, the roadblocks to overcome include i) the integration and further research and development where needed of the most advanced technologies across the value chain (components, devices, networks, middleware, service platforms, application functions) and their operation at large scale to respond to real needs of end-users (public authorities, citizens and business), based on underlying open technologies and architectures that may be reused across multiple use cases and enable interoperability across those; ii) the validation of user acceptability by addressing, in particular, issues of trust, attention, security and privacy through pre-defined privacy and security impact assessments, liability, coverage of user needs in the specific real-life scenarios of demonstration pilots, iii) the validation of the related business models to guarantee the sustainability of the approach beyond the implemented pilots.

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