"oneM2M promotes interoperability, scalability, modularity and re-use which are core principles of sustainability"


oneM2M members recently approved an initiative to focus on issues related to sustainability. In this interview, Dale Seed discusses the motivation behind this initiative and what it means for oneM2M and the Internet of Things (IoT) industry.

Q: Let us begin by talking about your background and involvement in oneM2M.

DS: I am an R&D engineer at InterDigital and a member of Convida Wireless which is a joint venture between InterDigital and Sony Corporation of America that has a focus area targeting IoT R&D. For the past 10 years of my career, I have focused on IoT technologies with a specific emphasis on the IoT service layer. I lead a team that works on IoT product development, research, and IoT standardization in venues such as oneM2M, 3GPP, IETF and ETSI.

My contributions at oneM2M cover a range of topics including 3GPP interworking, device management, LWM2M interworking, transaction management and service subscription management. Over the years I have held different leadership positions in oneM2M including the Architecture Working Group Chair and System Design and Security Working Group Chair. At the moment, I serve as the Technical Plenary Vice Chair. Over the past couple of months, I helped to launch a new oneM2M sustainability initiative and I am currently serving a convenor of this sub-committee.

Q: As convenor for oneM2M’s Sustainability initiative, what led to its launch?

DS: The United Nations set a collection of seventeen Sustainable Development Goals in 2015, with the intention of achieving them by 2030. Some six years later on, there is plenty of evidence that governments and corporations are taking action. This happens to be the case here in the USA where the U.S. General services Administration operates with a ‘Strategically Sustainable’ focus. In Europe, there have been calls for more sustainable and durable goods and we also hear how “China is going green”. Even the management consulting industry sees the importance of influencing business leaders by talking about how sustainability is driving the new competitive advantage. So, sustainability is firmly on the agenda of governments, business organizations and, I would also add, the general population.

Sustainability means many things to different people. It spans issues ranging from the effective management of resources to optimized use of energy. It can also cover methods of collaboration, along supply chains, that reduce inefficiencies in the production, distribution, use and disposal of everyday products. I am sure there are other dimensions I have not included in this list.

My parent organization, InterDigital, recognized the importance of developing and promoting sustainable technologies. That has positive impacts on the way we operate and the messaging we promote in our corporate profile and marketing campaigns. The idea of launching a sustainability initiative, focusing particularly on the IoT market, aligns with the way that the market expectations are evolving and our corporate commitment to the issue.

Q: What issues will oneM2M’s Sustainability initiative address?

DS: I look at it as three areas of focus. The first is to promote ideas and experiences that illustrate how IoT has an impact on sustainability. The combination with mobile network connectivity makes it easier to collect data from remote devices, to share that data among many different users and to enable more insightful and better decision making. We need to highlight the importance of a family of complementary technologies, instead of looking at IoT in isolation.

The second area aims to help developers to build IoT systems following sustainability principles. This includes a consideration about interoperability, scalability, modularity, and re-use, beginning at the design stage. These principles are fundamental to the oneM2M standard. We also want to emphasize replicability to make it easy for users to borrow from oneM2M use cases and deployments that deliver on the sustainability agenda. Looking through the list of oneM2M deployments, we see cases relating to street lighting, intelligent transport, smart city, multi-user data marketplaces and waste management applications. Over the coming months, I expect that we will talk about many other possibilities and I certainly hope that several will come from India which has adopted oneM2M at the national level.

The third focus area relates to capabilities within the oneM2M technical specifications that help developers to build sustainability into their solutions. Let me give you a couple of examples. Everybody wants connected devices to be energy efficient, especially as the number of devices continues to rise. Within oneM2M, there is a standard way to gather and send data without devices being constantly switched on and polling the network. A second issue that oneM2M addresses is the deployment of IoT systems using new assets that have to interact with legacy systems. It would be wasteful to discard installed systems that have some operational life left in them. oneM2M handles this challenge using standardized abstraction and interworking techniques, making it possible to link different sub-systems.

Over the coming months, oneM2M’s sustainability efforts will foster many opportunities to exchange ideas between participants from the IoT domain and other industry sectors. I believe that such discussions will trigger new opportunities and help to identify additional requirements that we can feed back into our continuous standardization activities.

Q: What can we expect to see as the initiative gets underway?

DS: oneM2M is an open and collaborative forum for standardization with members and SDO partners from across the globe. We will continue to work in this manner and begin with a member discussion to gather the widest set of ideas and contributions in laying out firm plans for the remainder of 2021.

The aim is to create a market-responsive forum that advocates the role that IoT and the oneM2M standard have with respect to sustainability. We expect to recruit representatives from different communities across the industry ecosystem, going beyond standardization experts. We are early in the process so far and I have been impressed by the level of interest from individuals across the globe and from business and governance disciplines where there is a recognition that IoT systems will play an important role in sustainability monitoring and reporting activities.

We also hope that the industry dialog this initiative fosters will help to Identify new requirements that may feed into oneM2M standardization, interoperability testing and certification activities.

Q: Can anybody join the initiative and are there any costs involved?

DS:  Yes, this initiative is open and free to anyone who would like to participate. Our aim is to make this as open and collaborative an initiative as possible. As with our regular standardization activities, technical plenaries and working group meetings, there are no charges to participate.

Q: How does someone get involved with oneM2M’s sustainability initiative?  

DS:  The easiest way to get involved is to join the group’s email list (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). To do this, send a request to this email address with your contact information - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Meeting dates and times are posted to this list. In addition, relevant documents can be accessed via the oneM2M FTP site https://ftp.onem2m.org/Meetings/SSC/