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Web Standards to Enable an Accessible and Inclusive Internet of Things

MIT IoT Accessibility

The Internet of Things (IoT) is expected to have an unprecedented impact on our daily lives. In particular, “smart environments” will change how we interact with our surrounding and with each other, including at home, in public spaces, and at the work place.

This provides an opportunity to ensure equal access for people with disabilities. For example, operating doors, windows, and physical objects through voice makes such environments more accessible to people with physical disabilities and inclusive to many more.

Yet there are still many challenges to address, without which the Internet of Things (IoT) threatens to be more of a disabler than an enabler. In particular, the current lack of interoperability makes it hard for assistive technologies to easily tap into IoT systems.

Web standards could extend the open web platform to resolve many of these issues, much as it did on the traditional internet. This Web of Things (WoT) provides a robust application layer for innovation to thrive on the underlying Internet of Things (IoT).
This paper outlines the relevance of IoT for people with disabilities and the specific challenges it currently poses. It then discusses how the Web of Things (WoT) could help address these challenges, and highlights research questions that still need to be tackled.


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Web Standards to Enable an Accessible and Inclusive Internet of Things

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