IoT Data Protocol Gateways

(This has been on my mind for a few weeks and started this thread to collect feedback)

To enable devices talking with IoTeX blockchain (e.g., value transfer, automation, device auth and so on), there must be gateways (regardless of centralized or decentralized for a moment) to support the most popular data protocols used in IoT world:

  • MQTT, a publish-subscribe protocol that facilitates one-to-many communication mediated by brokers. Clients can publish messages to a broker and/or subscribe to a broker to receive certain messages. Messages are organized by topics, which essentially are “labels” that act as a system for dispatching messages to subscribers.
  • COAP, Constrained Application Protocol is a client-server protocol that, unlike MQTT, is not yet standardized. With CoAP, a client node can command another node by sending a CoAP packet. The CoAP server will interpret it, extract the payload, and decide what to do depending on its logic. The server does not necessarily have to acknowledge the request since it is a UDP protocol
  • DDS, Data Distribution Service is a standard for high-performance, expandable and real-time machine-to-machine communication. The Data Distribution Service – DDA is developed and designed by OMG or Object Management Group. With the help of DDS, you can transfer data both in the low-footprint devices and with the Cloud platforms. This protocol is widely used in autonomous vehicles. I have had nice conversations with CEO of RTI who is the most recognized brand for commercialized DDS.

What thoughts do you have?

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Gateways are absolutely important and security of the data before it enters the blockchain is also important (i.e., garbage in, garbage out). That’s where something like DDS likely comes in handy; securing the data in motion before it enters the blockchain where high levels of trust are usually found. I digressed a bit, but this got me thinking about quality of data before it enters the blockchain.

COAP seems to be best suited protocol for the lightweight devices we see in IoT with its low overhead. But having the flexibility to support multiple protocols is important for a gateway.

There’s an interesting research paper here along the lines of this topic:

https://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=3022&context=theses

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