Another day, another Internet of Things consortium
By Darren Quick
July 8, 2014
The flood of smart devices aimed at hooking into the Internet of Things (IoT) seems to be turning into a flood of consortia of industry heavyweights looking to standardize the IoT. First we had the AllSeen Alliance, which was followed by the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) and now we have the Open Interconnect Consortium (OIC), which boasts Atmel, Dell, Broadcom, Intel, Samsung and Wind River as members.
The current IoT landscape is a hodgepodge of various different protocols shuttling data and enhancing the intelligence of everything from cars and washing machines to light bulbs and doormats. But with many of the protocols not compatible with each other, the OIC was founded with the goal of defining the wireless connectivity requirements of IoT devices to ensure interoperability between devices, regardless of form factor, operating system or provider.
Like the AllSeen Alliance and IIC, the OIC effort will have an open source aspect, allowing application developers and device manufacturers to deliver interoperable products across a variety of platforms, including Android, iOS, Windows, Linux and Tizen. The consortium will also define certification requirements, with devices successfully completing compliance testing allowed to make use of branding intended to give consumers peace of mind when purchasing devices.
The goals of the OIC may sound similar to the AllSeen Alliance and the IIC (of which Intel is also a member), but the group claims that none of the other efforts address all the necessary requirements to overcome the challenge of IoT connectivity and interoperability.
With the goal of connecting "the next 25 billion devices for the Internet of Things," the group says security and reliable device discovery and connectivity will be the foundations of the OIC standard, which will embrace a number of existing wireless standards, including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi Direct, Zigbee, Zwave and Ant+.
The Oregon-based, non-profit OIC has thrown the doors open for companies to join up, with the cost of membership based on the company's level of participation. The group says it will announce additional member companies in the coming months, including appliance and device manufacturers, service and solution providers, chipset manufacturers and others.