Conceived as a network of computers, the Internet is evolving into an Internet of services, media and “things” (devices and other “Real World Objects” connected to or tracked via the Internet). In this new Internet, users are interested in publishing, finding and managing items of information. This need contrasts with the current host-centered architecture of the Internet.

CONVERGENCE aims at enhancing the Internet with a content-centric, publish-subscribe service model, based on a common container for any kind of digital data, including representations of people and Real World Objects.

    CONVERGENCE is based on the notion of Versatile Digital Item (VDI), a package of digital information with a unique identifier and independent of the machine where the VDI is hosted. VDIs are designed to handle all possible kinds of digital information, from media to information about services, people and physical objects, independently of the structure or geographical location of the content.
    The CONVERGENCE architecture provides scalable mechanisms allowing providers and users to publish VDIs, maintain access to VDIs when they move from one host to another or when hosts fail; search for and subscribe to VDIs, and to update and delete VDIs which have already been published.
    CONVERGENCE allows providers and users to define their own policies for authenticating and protecting VDIs and supporting “digital forgetting” (deleting VDIs when they pass a user-defined expiry date).
    CONVERGENCE will be testedin two “tracks” dedicated respectively to tests in real-life business scenarios and network experimentation using one or more of the large scale facilities made available by other parts of the ICT Program.
    The CONVERGENCE framework is being proposed to relevant standardization bodies. Software developed in the project (including middleware and applications) will be released as Open Source Software.