July 8, 2014
New Open Internet Of Things Alliance Formed – Open Interconnect Consortium
Peter Suciu for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
This week a group of tech companies has founded a new consortium built around the so-called Internet of Things (IoT), but it could also be seen to be an alliance against some companies as well.
The Open Interconnect Consortium (OIC) has been created by several top hardware companies including Intel, Samsung and Dell as a way to develop standards that could allow billions of devices to connect to one another.
The newly announced group will deliver the first of many specifications later this year – with the goal of providing hassle-free data flow between devices, regardless of the operating system, device type or even the wireless communication technology. Other founding members of the OIC include Atmel Corporation, Broadcom Corporation and Wind River, while leading companies from a broad range of industry vertical segments – ranging from smart home and office solutions to automotive and beyond – are also expected to participate in this program, and ensure that the OIC specs will truly cover the Internet of Things.
"The rise and ultimate success of the Internet of Things depends on the ability for devices and systems to securely and reliably interconnect and share information," said Doug Fisher, Intel corporate vice president and general manager of the Software and Services Group, in a statement. "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 Internet of Things without tying the ecosystem to one company's solution."
The OIC may have the backing of several industry leaders, but it also seems to be one that hasn't been all inclusive.
JC Torres, writing for SlashGear noted, "Noticeably absent are other big names in this IoT market, like LG, Philips, Qualcomm, or even Google. Of course, membership could grow later on, but sometimes, the starting lineup can be very telling about the future of an endeavor. Involving more players will ensure that the 'Open' part of the consortium won't remain just a name, and the OIC is keenly aware of this need as well."
This new consortium also comes months after the formation of the AllSeen Alliance, which had the backing of The Linux Foundation and support from companies including Microsoft, LG, Sharp, HTC and notably Qualcomm.
Could there be competition between the groups?
"The inclusion of Samsung is certainly a coup, although less of a coup considering it’s the only real big name consumer brand participating, and that the chip companies involved here aren’t too keen on Qualcomm and will eventually conform to whatever standard their clients demand," Stacey Higginbotham of GigaOm suggested. "AllSeen already has products on the market using the protocol and many more consumer brands, but it’s still so early in the process we can't know what wins."
However, the Linux Foundation has welcomed the OIC's commitment, which could imply that the two groups could live side by side or even cooperate at some point.
"Open source is about collaboration and about choice. The Open Interconnect Consortium is yet another proof point how open source helps to fuel innovation," said Jim Zemlin, executive director of The Linux Foundation, via the press statement. "We look forward to the OIC's contribution in fostering an open environment to support the billions of connected devices coming online."
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