Archive: October, 2009

What’s So Ubiquitous About ONS?

There may be life on March, and there just may be people out there wondering why I wrote a post about ONS under the “ubiquitous” theme. What’s ubiquitous about an Object Name Service?

(Note in passing: If my use of ubiquitous seems suspect, please download the “U-Essence” report from this website.)

The reason is wireless sensor networks, also known as Ubiquitous Sensor Networks (USN) in Korea and Japan.

Wireless sensors are regarded as an extension of RFID technology even if they differ in several respects. Simply put, a sensor is active, transmitting a varying measurement value and depends on continuous power supply. A plain RFID tag is passive because it relies on radio frequencey energy beamed to it by the tag reader. It transmits the same identity every time.

The ONS (Object Name Service) was invented for passive RFID tags. By extrapolation the ONS is also found in some sensor network architectures. My previous post raised objections about the ONS for passive RFID tags, mainly based on security considerations. For sensor networks the ONS functionality is plain irrelevant in many cases. Let me sketch an alternative.
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