During TP63, we explored IoT needs from the agriculture and metaverse sectors as well as technical requirements to standardize context information models and geospatial data

March 2024 - In this interview, Roland Hechwartner summarizes the latest developments from oneM2M’s 63rd Technical Plenary. In addition to Chairing oneM2M’s Technical Plenary (TP), Roland is responsible for the coordination of the overall management of the technical work within the TP and its Working Groups (WGs). He is also a representative of Deutsche Telekom (DT).

Q: Would you begin with an overview of the key developments at TP63?

RH: We held TP63 in Mainz, Germany from February 26 to March 1, 2024. We are grateful to our hosts, the Bundesnetzagentur (BNetzA) which is a part of Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action.

During the TP, there was a good mix of old and new topics along with progress on standardization activities that are underway. We welcomed Manuel Gorius and Aaron Wewior, both from digisaar and Dr. Christoph Runde from the Virtual Dimension Center (VDC) which is based in Fellbach, Germany. Your readers might be interested in a recent interview Manuel completed with oneM2M on the topic of IoT in the agriculture and software development sectors, including the relevance of oneM2M standards.

Christoph Runde gave a talk about eXtended Reality (XR), metaverse standards issues of regulation. He highlighted developments in the XR standards ecosystem and emergence of different regional strategies as a background to introducing the VDC‘s XR Standards Monitor. The latter is an online accessible database (a common literature database) with references to all known documents. In past TPs, we have talked about developments at the intersection of the metaverse and IoT so there is good reason for further collaboration. Dr. Runde will take part in oneM2M’s ACR – ACademia Relations ad-hoc group, where participants from academia, SMEs and industry get together in context of oneM2M.

In relation to ongoing standardization activities, there is a new work item on context information models and integration of geospatial data in IoT systems. I can describe these developments in more detail after highlighting one item from each of the TP’s working groups. Much more work has been completed in progressing Release 5 related use cases and requirements in the RDM WG, architectural and protocol aspects in the SDS WG as well as testing and developer outreach initiatives in the TDE WG.

Q: Let us begin with the context information model item. What is happening there?

RH: This is an example where we are exploring how to build a bridge between oneM2M and a component standard in the IoT technology stack. In this case, we are looking into the NGSI-LD API which is being developed by an ETSI Industry Specification Group (ISG) focusing on Context Information Models (CIM). The CIM concept provides an information-centric and uniform approach to capture context information. It uses a homogeneous representation based on JSON-LD which is a lightweight Linked Data format that is easy for humans to read and write. It is based on the JSON format and provides a way to make JSON data interoperate at Web-scale. In computing, linked data is structured data, which is interlinked with other data, so it becomes more useful through semantic queries. It builds upon standard Web technologies such as HTTP, RDF and URIs. However, rather than using them to serve web pages only for human readers, the aim is to extend them to share information in a way that can be read automatically by computers. This is where the synergies with IoT systems and benefits of standardization arise.

At this TP, members agreed a new work item on integrating NGSI-LD API in oneM2M. There was support from NEC, Easy Global Market (EGM), Il Consorzio Nazionale Interuniversitario per le Telecomunicazioni (CNIT), KETI, Sejong University, and Exacta Global Smart Solutions. The goal of this work item is to investigate how key features of ETSI ISG CIM’s NGSI-LD API can be integrated in oneM2M. This includes describing the benefits, the architectural and functional integration, and the required mapping of information. There will also be an assessment of the impact on the oneM2M and NGSI-LD specifications that would result from it.

Q: The second development you mentioned was about geospatial mapping. What were the key developments there?

RH: During the TP meeting, members approved the Technical Report TR-0065 on oneM2M-SensorThings API interworking. The TR studies the interworking of two standards: oneM2M and Open Geospatial Consortium’s (OGC) SensorThings API (STA). The report provides an introduction and background to the
OGC­-SensorThings API, describing interworking scenarios that are relevant but not exclusive to smart cities. There are also examples from other areas and verticals as well.

The report contains a technical comparison of oneM2M and OGC/STA and a description of scenarios for a technical solution to enable interworking between the two standards. The technical report lists potential test cases to validate the interworking between oneM2M and OGC SensorThings API. The next step in oneM2M is to develop a Technical Specification and enhancements to existing specifications, if required.

Q: Turning to the activities of the TP Working Groups (WGs). What were the highlights in each of those?

RH: Let me begin with the Requirements and Domain Modelling (RDM) working group which Massimo Vanetti (SBS) chaired. Participants discussed contributions on Meta-IoT, building on document RDM-2024-0005R01 titled, “Use case for metaverse-based real-time smart farming”. This was presented by Sejong University. They also provided initial contributions on support for Digital Twins which relies on information from “Digital Twin Composition”, a first input from an ETSI Special Task Force (STF).

Peter Niblett (IBM) chaired the System Design & Security (SDS) working group which is making progress on Release 5 versions of oneM2M’s technical specifications. There were agreed changes to the TS-0001 Functional Architecture document including Release 5 additions, corrections for TS-0004 Service Layer Protocol up to Release 4 and to TS-0022 Field Device Configuration up to Release 3. One other item was progress on TS-0041 oneM2M-SensorThings interworking for Releases 4 and 5.

Bob Flynn (Exacta) chaired the Testing & Developers Ecosystem (TDE) working group in which members agreed new baseline documents for Releases 2, 3 and 4 of the TS-0019 document, the Abstract Test Suite and Implementation eXtra Information for Test. This specification contains the Abstract Test Suite (ATS) for oneM2M as defined in oneM2M TS-0001 and oneM2M TS-0004. They comply with the relevant requirements and are in accordance with the relevant guidance given in ISO/IEC 9646-7. This is the basis for conformance tests for oneM2M products giving a high probability of inter-operability between different manufacturers' equipment. The ISO standard for the methodology of conformance testing (ISO/IEC 9646-1 and ISO/IEC 9646-2) as well as oneM2M TS-0015 Testing Framework are used as the basis for the test methodology.

In our continued efforts to support IoT developers, members contributed and agreed on inputs to the Application developer guide in TR-0025 as well as to the
TR-0073 Developer guide on deploying semantics.

The TDE WG is also exploring new approaches to publish and maintain oneM2M’s reports and specifications. There has been some early work to test a new markdown and GitLab based document development process. This was successfully demonstrated with multiple example deliverables.

Finally, the group launched initial discussions and planning for the next interoperability test event. The event is intended to be scheduled co-located or closely located with TP#66 in September. The suggested topics are protocol bindings, security, and CSE-to-CSE registration.

Q: In closing, what are the plans for the next TPs?

RH: Our next Technical Plenary, TP#64, will be organized as a virtual meeting scheduled for April 22 to 26, 2024.