AllSeen's merger with OCF brings IoT closer to common ground

AllJoyn devices should work with a wider range of products now

Two of the main IoT standards groups have merged, probably bringing consumers closer the day when your lights, your refrigerator, and the power company can all talk to each other.

On Monday, the Open Connectivity Foundation and the AllSeen Alliance announced they would merge under the OCF name. The two groups include companies such as Intel, Microsoft, Qualcomm, Samsung, Cisco Systems, GE Digital, and Haier -- possibly a critical mass of IoT component and product makers. OCF's scope even extends beyond home IoT into some industrial technologies.

The internet of things depends on objects talking to each other, so standardization is important to making IoT easier to use and driving down prices through large-scale manufacturing. But efforts at interoperability started out by going in different directions.

The fiercest rivalry was between the AllSeen Alliance, backed by Qualcomm and Microsoft, and the Open Interoperability Consortium (OIC), founded by Intel, Samsung, and others. Each had its own way for devices to discover and learn about each other.

Now that the two groups are merging, there’s a greater chance that any given IoT product will be able to talk to others without using a hub or relying on cloud-based software.

The merger won’t close down the open-source projects started by the two groups, AllJoyn for the AllSeen Alliance and IoTivity for OIC. Those will continue, both of them under The Linux Foundation. But the projects will collaborate to support future versions of the OCF specification with a single IoTivity implementation, the groups said in a press release. Current AllJoyn and IoTivity products will be interoperable and backward compatible, they said.

The two groups were on a path to common ground as soon as the OCF was formed in February. The new organization incorporated all members of OIC as well as some other companies, including key members of AllSeen. Microsoft said at the time all Windows devices would natively interoperate with the OCF standard.

Analysts predicted a couple of years ago that the fragmented world of IoT standards would come together in time. But consolidation hasn’t yet reached the point where consumers can buy any device and feel confident it will work with all their other connected gear.

Other mergers and partnerships are also helping to create order in IoT. The Thread Group has made deals with the ZigBee Alliance and other groups to make their application platforms run on its networking stack. Pairings between companies like Cisco and IBM may make it easier for enterprises to build IoT platforms.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Stephen Lawson

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?