The Open Interconnect Consortium has issued a reference implementation of the Internet of Things (IoT) standard it hopes will unify creators of connected devices and applications.
The reference implementation, called IoTivity, can be used by device makers and application creators as a starting point to build products and services that are compliant with the standard backed by the Open Interconnect Consortium (OIC) and interoperable across other OIC standard-compliant products and services.
"We've been very purposeful about doing both a standard and an implementation," says Mark Skarpness, director of embedded software for Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC)'s Open Source Technology Center and chair of the IoTivity Steering Group for the OIC. "People within many of the segments we're targeting want to have a standard, and some want to do their own implementations."
The IoTivity framework is open sourced and is being hosted by the Linux Foundation . The OIC now has more than 50 members, including Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), Intel, Samsung Corp. and Dell Technologies (Nasdaq: DELL). (See Intel, Others Form Another IoT Alliance .)
The OIC, of course, is not the only group in town angling to get the industry behind its standard. The AllSeen Alliance Inc. -- backed by such heavy-hitters as Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM), Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) and LG Electronics Inc. (London: LGLD; Korea: 6657.KS) -- is backing its own standard, which Skarpness acknowledges is a rival to the OIC's efforts. (See AllSeen Attracts More IoT Hopefuls.)
"Before we started OIC, all of the founders looked at what was out there, and we didn't find anything we thought was necessary for the long-term success of the industry," he says. "We also didn't find something that had the breadth of architectural reach, capable of creating something that could scale into vertical industries."
The AllSeen Alliance is looking to solve a similar problem, Skarpness says, but not in a way that the OIC's backers agree with.
"The difference is around having a standard plus a reference implementation, the IP policy, and the breadth of the approach -- meaning not just looking at smart home usage," he says. "We really felt it didn't meet the needs of the industry long term. There really should be one common standard that can scale across all industries."
As to the question of service provider interest in IoT standards development, Skarpness says he has primarily seen service providers exploring how standards intersect with their visions of the smart home, but he isn't counting out a stronger service provider role in the future.
"We're talking to lots of potential new member companies," he says. "There is a lot of interest and exploration going on."
— Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, Light Reading