The State of Affairs in Internet of Things Research


  • Nomusa Dlodlo
  • Thato Foko
  • Promise Mvelase
  • Sizakele Mathaba


Keywords: internet of things, research, application domains, future internet


: With the Internet of Things (IoT) being a new research area, the work that is going on worldwide in this field is disjoint. The picture is not clear on who is doing what and where, thus making it difficult not only for newcomers into this field to define their space and also engage with potential collaboration partners, but also for the relatively established researchers as well to gain the necessary support in their work. There is a massive increase in the amount of data that is generated globally. This data is traditionally generated by a number of different autonomous devices. The IoT is about interfacing these autonomous devices to communicate without human intervention and generate integrated data. Intelligence is then required to process this integrated data and make it available to the humans for decision‑making. If advantage is to be taken of IoT technologies, the need therefore arises to gain sufficient information that will be an impetus to further research on IoT and open the way to collaborations among the various researchers. This paper documents the international research that is going on in the area of IoT. It shows the main role players and the research territory they operate in. It also documents future research trends. The question that this research answers therefore is, “Who are the main role players in IoT research internationally, in which research space do they operate and how their work is shaping the future of IoT research?” The research is a qualitative study. A number of IoT conferences that have been held since 2008 when the first IoT conference was held in Zurich, Switzerland were identified. From the conference programs, contact details of individuals who had submitted papers or participated were identified. Emails were sent to the various stakeholders requesting information on their institutions, areas of application of IoT research and projects they were working on. Responses received also pointed to websites and publications which were then sampled to extract the relevant information. Preliminary results show that the European Union leads the pack in IoT research. Also, worldwide, institutions tend to specialise in particular aspects of IoT. Predominantly, it is the universities that are involved in IoT research as opposed to private sector institutions. Iot Research is a multidisciplinary field.



1 Nov 2012