Management of device and data

Speaking about the smart city platform, most of time we are referring to the open data or big data, using the cloud computing and data analytics to generate the great values out of large volumes of data.  It is true benefits to have government open data access in many areas in the world for the transparency. But when the data analytic really comes into the enterprise level or personal level, more concerns are on how to still hold on the control of the data in the cloud, and still maintaining the privacy and security protected, in particular in the most circumstances now, this data is coming from all various devices in all platforms.  Naturally, it is easier to manage the device data through management the devices, thinking when dragging the devices to the webinos ‘s PZH, personal zone hub, you can manage your own devices by issuing your signed certificate to the device, not only facilitate communications among all your devices through this web and moreover PZH encrypts all the data so yourself with privacy key can get access to.

Management of access control

Moreover, a smart city platform‘s role is not merely processing the big data only, but extended to a diverse hub or data distributor with big data analytics capability, connecting the data publisher with data consumer.  Anyone can be a data publisher, storing your health data, and then you decide who, which doctor can get access to your data, and analysis your data into useful information. When the data is already stored on the cloud – e.x. patient history record, resource access control is much easier done, but when it comes to some circumstance, the doctor needs the real data directly coming from your health device, techniquely it requires the doctor to show his certificate and when approved, the device can authorize the signed certificate to the doctor and thus build the communication.  This scenario is also ensured by the webinos to keep control the access of your personal resources not on the cloud, but to the level of devices. In the smart city platform perspective, that helps the data publisher to control the access of your resources to the device level.

App distribution

At last, owning to the security of device communication and data privacy done in the webinos work, we could have a decent secure communication on the web level. Using the communications, we can distribute the data, but of course making app distributions a reality. So smart city platform could also guarantee from webinos, is a delivery of web based apps in browser based environment.

Helping the data consumers to manage the devices uniformly, keeping the data secure and also helping different collaborators to share and play with their resources securely is two major things in keep the webinos as an important platform and can be regarded as the backbone for building smart city platform.

What is missing?

When dealing with data consumers of smart city, data analytics plays an important role, however when it comes to deal with data publishers, data communication is important, especially in the future, millions of data streams are not coming from people’s hand, but from the ubiquitous devices. Smart city platform needs to connect it with millions of sensors and devices in the internet of things in secure manager.

Interoperability of wireless sensor network

Yes, webinos has make its way to be across platforms in cars, TV, mobile, which is either based in Windows or Linux. Also you can see webinos has been deployed in the raspberry-pi, we can ideally assume webinos comes to the internet of things, smart devices, robots can running webinos, streaming their data to the data platform. For example, using raspberry-pi as the gateway in smart city infrastructure and deploy the webinos PZP as the high level middleware, owning to the communications between PZP and PZH, the manager can manage all the gateways uniformly, securely and can grant the data access to other stakeholders who needs the data.

But there still exists the gaps. Just recently, Google has worked on a wireless sensor network its Google I/O 2013, in which 500 sensor platforms and thousands of sensors were deployed in the conference building, these sensor platforms are generating 4000 data streams in real time, telling people about the environment data. The network is an example of the “internet of things”, where physical objects are digitally interconnected and communicate without human intervention. It reminds me, one most important part of internet of things is the wireless sensor network, consists of many resources constrained platforms with limited memory and battery. Like the big data, the wireless sensor network would be the most important city infrastructure in every area (home automation, car parking) and can’t be ignored by anyone. IPV6 and low6pan has made a stride making wireless sensor network interoperable in IP standards, where means in the future, every sensor can be visited through IP. In fact, in the early webinos project, porting webinos on the arduino has exposed to a challenge, since current version of webinos is implemented in node.js and deployed in the browser or Linux. That requirement has restricted the webinos into the wireless sensor network due to the operating system. For the wireless sensor networks, tiny.os is an open source wireless sensor network operating system platform, popular in academic and industry.  Since webinos is only a specification, porting the webinos in the tinyos, meaning webinos ‘s enabled feature like security and privacy can be maintained in the next important platform in the smart city. By then, with secure communication built in webinos, smart city platform can be marketplaces for the wireless sensor network applications, where you can have the wireless sensor platform, deploy any high level application software upon it.

COAP and MQTT support on PZH

Also for wireless sensor networks with low data rate and bandwidth, http styled – coap based UDP and publish/subscribe styled MQTT – described as machine-to-machine (M2M)/Internet of Things connectivity protocol, are coming into place to play with WSN, building the PZH with new ability to talk with these devices in these protocols enables its role in the internet of things. by which sensors, control systems, embedded systems and mobile devices can publish and subscribe low-level, technically-orientated data

ZIGBEE standard and web standard

Also regarding the wireless sensor network, ZIGBEE is an application standard addressing different applications, for example home automation, in which it defines the command and protocol for the interoperability of communications. And webinos is addressing the web standard. When combining with wireless sensor network, not only has to address the software interoperability by using tinyos, standard interoperability between ZIGBEE and web standard is also needed to be addressed, so webinos as a middleware, the web interface is still defined by web standard to get access to sensor and actuator, while implementation of ZIGBEE lies on the

Hooking into hardware Security

webinos is trying to address the web security between device and cloud, device and device, still security is based on web level, depending on the secure the private key. If the private key is secure, then your personal communication is secure. The problem is raised to devices (such as unmanned devices served as city infrastructure) which are not maintained by people, physical hacking the device by reverse engineering the device , tamping into the ROM of device, hackers can get access to the key and then can manipulate the device communication and data. Many chip solution provider are looking into to securing the hardware security on the chip level. For example, ARM is building a trustzone into the chip level, including the secure storage of private key. Therefore, to secure a communication as a whole, web level combined with chip level is to be maintained in depth.