Sony joins AllSeen Alliance to push for common ground in IoT

Microsoft, LG and Haier already belong to the group promoting interoperability through open-source code

Sony has now joined Microsoft, LG Electronics and other consumer electronics vendors in the AllSeen Alliance, strengthening the group's effort to make "Internet of things" devices work together.

The Japanese electronics and entertainment titan joined 10 other Premier members of the group, which includes Panasonic, Sharp, Haier and Qualcomm Connected Experiences in addition to Microsoft, LG and others, the AllSeen Alliance said Tuesday. The group also has 53 Community Members.

The alliance formed last December to push interoperability among connected devices such as TVs, smartphones and household appliances. The common thread among them is AllJoyn, open-source software originally developed by Qualcomm that can work on devices with different hardware platforms, operating systems and other components.

In a statement, Sony didn't commit to using AllJoyn in any particular products, but the company's broad set of technologies raises the possibility of TVs, tablets, phones, smartwatches, home theaters and many other devices getting AllJoyn capability.

IoT is intended to link many different types of devices that consumers wear, carry or have in their homes or cars, in addition to playing major roles in industry and public infrastructure. But those devices will need some commonality to form effective networks, which is largely lacking so far. Even though specifications such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Smart are widely used in IoT gear, basic connectivity isn't enough. Industry groups want to simplify steps such as device discovery and authentication.

AllSeen is just one of several efforts underway to weave together products from different vendors. For one, the Open Interconnect Consortium, which counts Intel, Samsung and Dell among its members, also plans open-source specifications for IoT interoperability.

Stephen Lawson covers mobile, storage and networking technologies for The IDG News Service. Follow Stephen on Twitter at @sdlawsonmedia. Stephen's e-mail address is stephen_lawson@idg.com

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Stephen Lawson

IDG News Service
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