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Major brands form IoT consortium

by Stuart Wilson, Wednesday 9 July 2014

Major technology brands have joined forces to establish the Open Interconnect Consortium (OIC), dedicated to ensuring interoperability between the billions of devices that will make up the Internet of Things (IoT) in the years ahead. Atmel, Broadcom, Dell, Intel, Samsung and Wind River have all signed up as members of the OIC.

The OIC intends to deliver a specification, an open source implementation, and a certification programme for wirelessly connecting devices. The first open source code will target the specific requirements for smart home and office solutions, with more use case scenarios to follow.

The new consortium will seek to define connectivity requirements to ensure the interoperability of billions of devices projected to come online by 2020 – from PCs, smartphones and tablets to home and industrial appliances and new wearable form factors.

Glen Robson, VP and CTO for client solutions at Dell, said: “The explosion of the IoT is a transformation that will have a major impact on our power to do more through technology. Having a connectivity framework that is open, secure and manageable is critical to delivering the foundational elements of that transformation.”

“Consumers and businesses alike will need a strong base upon which to build the vast array of solutions enabled by a global IoT. From our earliest days, Dell has embraced industry standards as a means to bring the best technology solutions to our customers, and the OIC is very much aligned with this model,” Robson added.

Jong-Deok Choi, executive VP and deputy head of software R&D centre at Samsung Electronics, commented: “In the IoT era, everything – from PCs, smartphones and tablets to home and industrial appliances and new wearable form factors – should effortlessly connect and communicate with each other, regardless of who makes the device. We invite other industry leaders, whatever their background and vertical specialism, to join us in defining and embracing a common communications framework for the IoT.”

The OIC is focused on defining a common communications framework based on industry standard technologies to wirelessly connect and intelligently manage the flow of information among personal computing and emerging IoT devices, regardless of form factor, operating system or service provider.

The first OIC open source code will target the specific requirements of smart home and office solutions. For example, the specifications could make it simple to remotely control and receive notifications from smart home appliances or enterprise devices using securely provisioned smartphones, tablets or PCs.

Doug Fisher, Intel corporate VP and general manager of the software and services group, said: “The rise and ultimate success of the IoT depends on the ability for devices and systems to securely and reliably interconnect and share information.”

“This requires common frameworks, based on truly open, industry standards. Our goal in founding this new consortium is to solve the challenge of interoperable connectivity for the IoT without tying the ecosystem to one company’s solution,” Fisher explained.

The numbercrunchers at IDC reckon the installed base of the IoT will be approximately 212 billion ‘things’ globally by the end of 2020.

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