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The IoT Crawler project was launched in early March with a two-day kick-off event at the University of Murcia in southern Spain. With the project, the EU seeks to tap into the economic and social potential of IoT, which experts estimate will have a market value of around 50 billion USD by 2025. Its initiators view the challenges they face as similar to those in the early days of the Internet. At that time, a variety of competing systems and platforms had resulted in a fragmented ecosystem whose potential was only made accessible through the introduction of search engines – meaning, ultimately, Google (at least in the western hemisphere).

The University of Murcia , which hosted the event, is joined by a core team of the following institutions: the University of Surrey , NEC Europe (both UK), Aarhus University and the city of Aarhus (both Denmark), Siemens (Austria) and Odin Solutions (Spain). The German participants in the project are digital worx GmbH (in Stuttgart), the AGT Group , and the Osnabrück University of Applied Sciences .

The IoT Crawler is, of course, not the first attempt to make the Internet of Things searchable. The service Shodan , which was created several years ago, is a search function for the Internet of Things. Shodan became infamous for offering a – now defunct – feature that allowed users to access unsecured webcams remotely.