Whether it's a washing machine that monitors the power grid, or a fridge that you can "look" in with your smartphone, more and more devices that aren't computers can now perform actions or be controlled via the internet. The phenomenon is known as The Internet of Things, and as technology advances, so will the number of "things" involved. In the same way that the regular internet has experienced some major growing pains, some people worry that the Internet of Things could also end up getting chaotic and disorganized. To that end, a group of Norwegian researchers are developing a standard platform for online devices, so that they're all on the same playing field.

The project is known as Infrastructure for Integrated Services, or ISIS, and incorporates five partner organizations and institutions. The ISIS platform includes a programming tool for app developers, called Arctis. Developed by researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Arctis is based around simply putting virtual building blocks together to form complete apps, although more complex arrangements are also possible.

When apps are complete, users can purchase and download them from the online ISIS app store, which is already up and running. Different apps could be combined in order to get various devices working together, which is where the ICE Composition Engine would come in. Installed on a modem, decoder or adapter in the home, it would be in charge of overseeing the relationships between devices, and making sure that they could all communicate effectively with one another.

Users would access ICE via the Puzzle interface program. As its name implies, Puzzle would allow users to link apps/devices together onscreen, with ICE figuring out how to make the arrangements work in the real world.

The project is being funded by the Research Council of Norway.

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