IoT Monkey > Events > IoTSC2014 – Day 3: COLLECT

IoTSC2014 – Day 3: COLLECT

As we have steadily drilled into the Internet of Things, namely in the technologies behind it, we seamlessly entered the third day of IoTSC2014. Dubbed COLLECT, this day was only about ways of getting data back and forth, especially in constrained networks.

When we speak of getting data back and forth, in regards to the Internet of Things, there is only one thing that should ring a bell. It is CoAP – the de facto standard to be, in terms of how things interact around us in the very near future. They already do, however the protocol is still being developed, but it is pretty mature now.

The third day at IoTSC2014 was all-about CoAP – the Constrained Application Protocol. You know, HTTP? CoAP is the HTTP of the Internet of Things, but without all the luggage.

Constrained Application Protocol (CoAP) is a software protocol intended to be used in very simple electronics devices that allows them to communicate interactively over the Internet. It is particularly targeted for small low power sensors, switches, valves and similar components that need to be controlled or supervised remotely, through standard Internet networks.

CoAP is an application layer protocol that is intended for use in resource-constrained internet devices, such as WSN nodes. CoAP is designed to easily translate to HTTP for simplified integration with the web, while also meeting specialized requirements such as multicast support, very low overhead, and simplicity.[

Multicast, low overhead, and simplicity are extremely important for Internet of Things (IoT) and Machine-to-Machine (M2M) devices, which tend to be deeply embedded and have much less memory and power supply than traditional internet devices have. Therefore, efficiency is very important. CoAP can run on most devices that support UDP or a UDP analogue. The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) Constrained RESTful environments (CoRE) Working Group has done the major standardization work for this protocol. In order to make the protocol suitable to IoT and M2M applications, various new functionalities have been added.

I don’t think that on this earth, you will ever met a person that explains CoAP better than Dr. Matthias Kovatsch [Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich]. Even cooler – he is one of the main engines that move CoAP forward. I will not even try to defile that wonderful talk, besides good guy Matthias made his lecture available online. Click on the image below to take a look.


I strongly advise, as soon as from the University of Parma make the videos public – do sacrifice couple of hours, watching the entire presentation. I will make sure to remind you of that.

After the lecture, you know – pasta, pizza & lasagna time came. And the #climbthese345damnstairs, as well.

Besides the little infrastructure issues we had, like filling the entire bandwidth capacity of the wireless router, thus preventing us from making Eclipse talk to Maven [easily], we have had some good hands-on major aspects of CoAP. Getting knowledge by hands-on experience works only when the curve of things to process and learn grows exponentially. This is exactly how this hands-on was organized – simple, yet mind-stretching exercises.


We have also paid attention to couple of tools, helping CoAP based projects. I strongly recommend taking a look and considering to make use of these projects:

Cu_96 Copper (Cu) CoAP user-agent for Firefox

Er_96 Erbium (Er) REST Engine for Contiki

Cf_96 Californium (Cf) CoAP framework in Java

Sc_96 Scandium (Sc) Security for Californium

Ac_96 Actinium (Ac) App-server for Californium CoAP

And that is how another day at the IoT & Smart Cities Ph.D. School 2014 slipped through our fingers. I secretly wish that the length of the day is 48 hours sometimes. This was one of these days and I admit that it was pretty interesting.

This is the third of couple of articles that cover the Internet of Things and Smart Cities 2014 event that took place in Lerici, Italy. If you liked reading about my third-day experience at the IoTSC2014, you will probably find the IoTSC2014: where science is made! and IoTSC2014 – Day 2: CONNECT articles interesting. They cover the first two days of IoTSC2014.

Articles covering the CONSUME and the business day are already drafted, I will finish them on the run – keeping you updated and deliver as promised – your daily dose of IoT. Stay tuned!