Open Interconnect Consortium formed to push IoT forward

Jul 8, 2014
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Open Interconnect Consortium formed to push IoT forward

The so-called Internet of Things (IoT) is really becoming a thing now that a consortium has been formed around it. The Open Interconnect Consortium is spearheaded by a literal few of the players in that nascent smart industry, like Samsung and Intel, but perhaps more interesting are the names that are not on the founders list.

The consortium, whose name is ingeniously abbreviated to OIC, aims on "improving interoperability and defining connectivity requirements" for IoT devices such as smart washing machines, smart refrigerators, smart bulbs, smart thermostats, smart speakers, and maybe, in the future, even smart couches. To this end, the consortium will be developing a specification, a certification program, as well as an open source implementation that will show present and future members how IoT devices should play nice with each other, no matter the brand.

If that's the case, it would make sense to have more people on board, but the starting roster of the OIC is quite small, currently made up of Samsung, Intel, Dell, Broadcom, Atmel, and Wind River. 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.

For now, the OIC's focus is on smart home and smart office scenarios. The usual cases of remotely controlling appliances or receiving notifications with a smartphone is presented, as well as having such interactive displays in office meeting rooms. The consortium isn't closing its doors to other forms of IoT systems but things like automotive, health, and industrial applications will follow only after these primary needs are met.

This new consortium comes months after the Linux Foundation announced a similar thrust, named the AllSeen Alliance, last December. Microsoft is the latest member to join that alliance just a few days ago. Linux Foundation executive director Jim Zemlin was naturally welcoming of yet another open source initiative to fuel innovation, but it will be interesting to see how this will play out in the near future. The AllSeen Alliance membership includes LG, Sharp, Qualcomm, Microsoft, HTC, and many others.

SOURCE: Open Interconnect Consortium


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