I hope you'll forgive me, but the heat wave and my current level of sleep deprivation brings me visions which are maybe suggestive, but provide little practical guidance. Let's hope they will at least bring insights. So here it goes:
You can put on a diving suit and earn your daily salary by welding pipes at 10 mt of deep or gathering aforae with wine aged for millennia, but if you want to fully participate to the benthonic ecosystem you MUST be a fish. A suit will only get that far in enabling you to interact with the environment: you'll have air for some time, you won't freeze for some hours, your eyes will be protected from the liquid: but you won't smell the water, nor you'll sense small electric field disturbances made by the frantic fins of smaller creatures. In other words, you'll be entitled a certain degree of interaction: but you'll never actually be a part of the system.
I think something very similar can be thought of software which supply surrogate capabilities to dumb nodes. Sure, you can crank up a WS façade, security and even reliable messaging by binding yourself with such a product: but even the most complete product won't be able to keep up with all the expressive power of a smart node, which understands WS-* natively.