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Researchers Poised to Clear Internet of Things Hurdle

German IT researchers want the devices in your home to speak the same digital language — and there may be a breakthrough in sight.

IOT devices on a deskOne day, very soon, the magic of the Internet of Things will bathe us all in electronically coordinated convenience and simplicity. All of our things will work in concert to make the world a less confusing, more smoothly functional wonderland of technological ease.

 

That's the working theory, at any rate. In practice, there are still a few bugs in the system. Not least among the easily forseeable challenges is the problem of interoperability. Put simply, unless your stove and refrigerator are from the same manufacturer, then (generally speaking) connectivity alone doesn't let them share information.

 

Computer researchers at the University of Kaiserslautern in southern Germany have been pursuing a solution to the problem. Later this month at Hannover Messe, the largest industrial technology trade show on the planet, the team will showcase a software solution that could function, in Star Trek terms, as a sort of machine language universal translator.

 

If everything turns out according to plan, then a "simple and user-friendly" software interface could serve as a digital go-between that connects devices from different manufacturers. Your washing machine and dryer, for example, could exchange information about your laundry even if one is a Maytag and the other is from Whirlpool.

 

Many device manufacturers offer web-driven solutions to interoperability problems. The new software technology, which is being pursued by a team led by Christoph Grimm, could offer a one-size-fits-all happy ending to the tale of interoperability.

 

If you're a certified networking professional, then the upcoming Hannover Messe, April 24-28 at Hanover Fairground in the German city of Hanover, could be ground zero for a game-changing breakthrough that directly affects your future IoT endeavors.