Technology industry giants Atmel Corporation, Broadcom Corporation, Dell, Intel Corporation, Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., and Wind River, are joining forces to establish a new industry consortium focused on improving interoperability and defining the connectivity requirements for the billions of devices that will make up the Internet of Things (IoT).
The Open Interconnect Consortium (OIC) is focused on defining a common communications framework based on industry standard technologies to wirelessly connect and intelligently manage the flow of information among personal computing and emerging IoT devices, regardless of form factor, operating system or service provider.
"The explosion of the IoT is a transformation that will have a major impact on our power to do more through technology. Having a connectivity framework that is open, secure and manageable is critical to delivering the foundational elements of that transformation," said Glen Robson, vice president and CTO for Client Solutions at Dell. "Consumers and businesses alike will need a strong base upon which to build the vast array of solutions enabled by a global Internet of Things."
Member companies will contribute software and engineering resources to the development of a protocol specification, open source implementation, and a certification program, all with a view of accelerating the development of the IoT. The OIC specification will encompass a range of connectivity solutions, utilizing existing and emerging wireless standards and will be designed to be compatible with a variety of operating systems.
"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. "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."
Leaders from a broad range of industry vertical segments—from smart home and office solutions to automotive and more—will participate in the program. This will help ensure that OIC specifications and open source implementations will help companies design products that intelligently, reliably and securely manage and exchange information under changing conditions, power and bandwidth, and even without an Internet connection.
The first OIC open source code will target the specific requirements of smart home and office solutions. For example, the specifications could make it simple to remotely control and receive notifications from smart home appliances or enterprise devices using securely provisioned smartphones, tablets or PCs.
Possible consumer solutions include the ability to remotely control household systems to save money and conserve energy.
In the enterprise, employees and visiting suppliers might securely collaborate while interacting with screens and other devices in a meeting room. Specifications for additional IoT opportunities including automotive, healthcare and industrial are expected to follow.
Additional member companies including other leading appliance and device manufacturers, service and solution providers, chipset manufacturers and more are expected to join OIC in the coming months.
"In the Internet of Things era, everything—from PCs, smartphones and tablets to home and industrial appliances and new wearable form factors—should effortlessly connect and communicate with each other, regardless of who makes the device," said Jong-deok Choi, executive vice president and deputy head of Software R&D Center at Samsung Electronics. "We invite other industry leaders, whatever their background and vertical specialism, to join us in defining and embracing a common communications framework for the Internet of Things."