Open Standards: Touching Every Part of Life

Posted on January 4th, 2017

Image: Christian Mueller

A recent report from the Alliance for Internet of Things Innovation (AIOTI), presents the global dynamics and landscapes of IoT Standards Developing Organization (SDO), Alliance and Open Source Software (OSS) initiatives and how those can be used. One of the challenges that are associated to LSPs (Large Scale Pilots) addressed in the report is the large number of competing technology standards which are projected in both horizontal and vertical directions.

According to the report, “The vertical direction implies that the standards and protocols are developed for the support of applications/services that are belonging to a particular application domain, i.e., a single vertical industry, such as home automation, smart mobility and wearable medical devices, etc. The horizontal direction implies that the standards and protocols are not targeting a specific vertical industry, but aim at providing general standard, protocols and solutions for as many vertical industry types as possible with the implication of developing limited adaptations to the applications that they need to support.”

So, what does that mean for us? Simply put, in this era of convergence, standards have grown in their complexity and diversity, touching many different industries. Because each vertical carries unique protocols and considerations, it may be necessary to establish new Open Standards which serve as overarching standards across industries, while more specific standards govern each vertical. 

The verticals outlined in the report paint a vast and far reaching landscape of consideration and standardization.  They include, but are not limited to home/building, manufacturing/industry automation, vehicular/transport, healthcare, energy, cities, wearables and agribusiness.  Telecommunications, for example, is an area of open standards which cross all of these verticals.  

While the open standards movement has grown increasingly more global in nature, it is also important to consider the ways in which these standards touch our daily lives, and how this may impact the need for standards.

For example, in vehicular/transport, it is now possible to access real time traffic information and road data through mobile and vehicle-based technology.  We can also find available parking through sensors and mobile apps to prevent endless driving looking for a spot. Soon, the data of where people travel, how frequently and where the highest potential for accidents occurs will inform infrastructure decisions.

Further, wearables is an area that has seen extremely dynamic growth in the last few years.  Consumer-based wearables can monitor heart rates, caloric burn and other valuable health data.  Medical wearables can monitor glucose for diabetics that are connected to apps on their smartphones, allowing immediate access to that data. Doctors are now beginning to access and track this data to provide more proactive patient care.

The way we build our homes is also being impacted by the internet and open standards. We can already use apps on our smartphones to monitor our home’s security, heating and cooling, and lighting. We can monitor or our pets or children left at home to make sure they are safe. These applications are only getting stronger. Soon, our homes will proactively know when to turn on the heat, shut down appliances automatically if they sense fire or danger, and send notifications to your phone and emergency services, if necessary.

But the impact goes further than this.  Even the food we buy will soon be impacted by open standards. We’re using applications today to track the calories and nutritional value of our food. Technology currently exists to combine real-time data from soil, such as moisture levels, pesticide levels and weather forecasts, to spot any crop issues and allow farmers to better monitor farms and resources.

When we leverage open standards to extract data from existing silos and allow it to be be shared across verticals, the true value of the internet and the Internet of Things begins to emerge. We are already taking advantage of open standards in many ways. The value they provide to humanity will only continue to grow with your support. Please Sign your name and stand with us if you hold to our OpenStand Principles.

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