Microcontrollers have enabled adding processing and communication to many physical objects, but the result is not a simple copy of a general-purpose computing environment. Bringing these objects into the Internet requires attention to their specific constraints. Since 2005, the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) has been shaping Internet protocols towards the special requirements of such constrained devices, addressing a full stack from adaptation layers to the application layer, including security protocols. Looking at 17 years of standardization, what have we achieved, and what still needs to be completed to arrive at a true Internet of Things?
Carsten Bormann likes bringing the Internet to odd places. Honorary professor for Internet Technology at the Universität Bremen, he is a member of its Center for Computing and Communications Technology (TZI). His research interests are in protocol design and system architectures for networking. In the IETF, he mainly has been working on bringing Internet Technology to new links, applications, or radios. Since 2005, he has co-chaired, initiated, or co-authored many of the IETF efforts that now make up its Internet of Things (IoT) stack: he initiated the IETF work on Constrained RESTful Environments (CoRE) and the CoAP (Constrained Application) Protocol and co-chaired the IETF CoRE WG for its first ten years. Most recently, he launched the Thing-to-Thing Research Group (T2TRG) in the Internet Research Task Force (IRTF). He has authored and co-authored 48 Internet RFCs, which have 439 citations in other Internet RFCs.