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From "smart objects" to "social objects": The next evolutionary step of the internet of things

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3 Author(s)
Atzori, L. ; Univ. of Cagliari, Cagliari, Italy ; Iera, A. ; Morabito, G.

Social networking concepts have been applied to several communication network settings, which span from delay-tolerant to peer-to-peer networks. More recently, one can observe a flourish of proposals aimed at giving social-like capabilities to the objects in the Internet of Things. Such proposals address the design of conceptual (and software) platforms, which can be exploited to easily develop and implement complex applications that require direct interactions among objects. The major goal is to build techniques that allow the network to enhance the level of trust between objects that are "friends" with each other. Furthermore, a social paradigm could definitely guarantee network navigability even if the number of nodes becomes orders of magnitude higher than in the traditional Internet. Objectives of this article are to analyze the major opportunities arising from the integration of social networking concepts into the Internet of Things, present the major ongoing research activities, and point out the most critical technical challenges.

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Communications Magazine, IEEE  (Volume:52 ,  Issue: 1 )