In order for small devices to communicate they must be paired by a common link or protocol; in addition, for vendors to communicate through the same device, a dedicated application is usually required. The current IoT is inherently limited in that it requires special purpose computing as opposed to general purpose computing and because it focuses on high value applications. The authors of [Andersen, M.P., Fierro, G. and Culler, D.E., 2017. Enabling synergy in iot: Platform to service and beyond. Journal of Network and Computer Applications, 81, pp.96-107] built their own version of a ‘Future IoT’ (FIoT) and, based on the challenges inherent in such a task, present some design criteria which are necessary to enable the world to roll out the type of FIoT they envisage. These authors explain why enclosing complex behaviour, such as device-device recognition and authentication, behind simple structures, and developing contextual relationships from metadata is critical to the success of the FIoT. They argue that software layers will need to take over from firmware, and that at runtime, applications will need to add/replace variables, and programs be modified without rebooting; devices will have to be able to broadcast their features and discover nearby services themselves, entirely unattended by humans or mediating third parties. They give (p.101) explicit reasons for why “Current discovery mechanisms are insufﬁcient…” to achieve this functionality.In particular, authentication of multiple communicating devices based on different hardware, firmware and software and equipped with limited resources will be a major challenge to the success of the FIoT and its global economic impact.
Solutions providing the features mentioned above will revolutionize the way the world operates. This workshop focuses on and deals with potential solutions to only one of the above challenges: that of providing end-to-end cryptographic authentication for the FIoT.