Industry heavyweights come together to standardize the Internet of Things


March 31, 2014

The Industrial Internet Consortium's ambitions include delivering reference architecture and standard requirements for the development of connected technologies (Image: Shutterstock)

The Industrial Internet Consortium's ambitions include delivering reference architecture and standard requirements for the development of connected technologies (Image: Shutterstock)

AT&T;, Cisco, GE, IBM and Intel are the latest companies to band together with the aim of standardizing interoperability across smart machines and ultimately, drive adoption of an Internet of Things. Announced last week, the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) is a not-for-profit open membership group created to establish common frameworks for development of inter-connected digital and physical worlds.

While the notion of device-to-device communication holds great potential across a range of industries, with different manufacturers using different engineering standards, development has been slow-moving in the eyes of some.

In December last year we saw a raft of technology companies including Haier, LG Electronics, Panasonic and Qualcomm form the 23-member AllSeen Alliance, which was similarly created to fast track what it is calling "The Internet of Everything." Members of the Alliance are contributing software and engineering resources to an open-source project named AllJoyn, hoping to give birth to a new breed of inter-operating devices and services.

The IIC is yet to outline immediate plans as concrete as this, however, it does have backing from the White House, with the US federal government set to invest US$100 million a year in research relating to cyberphysical systems.

"By linking physical objects to the full power of cyberspace, the Industrial Internet promises to dramatically reshape how people interact with technology," said US Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker. "The Administration looks forward to working with public-private collaborations like the new IIC to turn innovative Industrial Internet products and systems into new jobs in smart manufacturing, health care, transportation and other areas."

The IIC will be managed by the Object Management Group (OMG), with its charter outlining ambitions to deliver reference architecture and standard requirements to allow connected technologies to be deployed more easily. This strategy will involve preparing industry case studies, facilitating open forums for the exchange of ideas and practices and helping shape global standards for internet and industrial systems.

"The Industrial Internet is ushering in a new era of explosive industry growth and innovation, unlike anything we've seen in decades," said Dr. Richard Soley, executive director of the Industrial Internet Consortium and Chairman and CEO of the Object Management Group. "OMG has spearheaded technological developments that have – and will continue to – enable the Industrial Internet. We are applying our 25 years of experience to the IIC to set the groundwork for the technological revolution to come."

Source: Industrial Internet Consortium

About the Author
Nick Lavars Nick was born outside of Melbourne, Australia, with a general curiosity that has drawn him to some distant (and very cold) places. Somewhere between enduring a winter in the Canadian Rockies and trekking through Chilean Patagonia, he graduated from university and pursued a career in journalism. Having worked for publications such as The Santiago Times and The Conversation, he now writes for Gizmag from Melbourne, excited by tech and all forms of innovation, the city's bizarre weather and curried egg sandwiches. All articles by Nick Lavars

That means more electromagnetic smog. I know some people who are sensitive to this and go to great lengths to avoid and protect themselves from electromagnetic radiation. Personally I avoid electromagnetic smog because of my hobby which is shortwave listening. These weak radio stations get swamped, in the cities and towns, by the interference generated by powerlines, Wi-Fi, switch mode power supplies, electric motors etc. More attention should be given to shielding and reducing interference by the manufacturers.

Haykey Kaariainen

@Kääriäinen There is huge consumer demand for some of the items you listed. There is no way to make more available spectrum for things like 4G and WiFi. More satellites are going up in the air, and people want to cram more and more data inside the slivers spectrum they are permitted to operate within. I agree about better shielding but that can be hard to police with all the devices floating around.

At the end of the day some of the short wave systems are just going to have to adapt for the new reality of an increasingly electronic world with more and more noise as a byproduct. Maybe it means moving away from caveman technologies like amplitude modulation for something modern with error correction. Maybe it means moving away from shortwave or streaming it over the top on IP but you are the minority.

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