UK’s Hypercat aims to spur on ‘internet of things’

Hypercat is a new specification that effectively acts as an address book for data hubs holding information transmitted by net-connected devices. It would allow an app to ask a hub what types of data it holds and what permissions it needs to access them. The idea is to reduce the need for human intervention.
At the moment a person needs to write an application programming interface (API) to specify how the software components of one system should interact with another. A recent example of this is Google’s Nest division releasing APIs to allow the software that controls its smart thermostat to interact with the software used by Jawbone’s Up wristbands.
But as the number of net-connected objects climbs higher – including everything from lamp posts to washing machines – the consortium behind Hypercat suggests it would be more efficient to allow the systems to have a standard way of consulting each other, rather than requiring new APIs for each case.
Instead of insisting that each company organises its data in the same way – an approach the consortium accepts would be doomed to failure – it decided instead to build a layer on top of the databases the services already hold.