ZDNet on Standards for the Internet of Things

Posted on March 4th, 2015

Joe McKendrick recently zeroed in on the key question right now for the Internet of Things: will standards evolve to make it all work? Or will we finally get everyone on the same page?
Photo: Shutterstock, Sergey Nivens

Joe McKendrick recently zeroed in on a key question in this ZDNet article  and it’s possibly the key question right now for the Internet of Things:

“…with all these vendors jumping into what looks like a lucrative space, will standards evolve to make it all work? Or will we finally get everyone on the same page, as we did with the Internet of Words and Pictures?”

McKendrick isn’t the only one asking this question. OpenStand highlighted some similar questions from Pravin Kulange on the blog just a few months ago. McKendrick highlights several standards setters currently working to answer the above question. While it’s hard to tell what will transpire, it is likely that some of these projects may move forward with closed, proprietary solutions while others remain more open, and closely aligned to the OpenStand principles.

The first project McKendrick highlights is AllJoyn, a software framework made to help smart devices talk to each other which is a collaborative open source project of the AllSeen Alliance, which includes Cisco, Microsoft, LG, and HTC. Neagle believes that the AllJoyn protocol would enable “manufacturers to create their own custom apps for onboarding devices onto a Wi-Fi network, complete with control and notification services.”

Another project to take note of is Google’s The Physical Web, which is still an experimental effort that wants people to be able to interact with smart objects without having to download an app first.

The Industrial Internet Consortium is a recently formed project which aims “to accelerate the development and availability of intelligent industrial automation for the public good.” The IIC was founded by Intel, Cisco, AT&T, GE, and IBM. Microsoft is also a member.

The Open Interconnect Consortium (OIC), from Intel and joined by Atmel, Dell, Broadcom, Samsung, and Wind River, is a project which focuses 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.”

Thread, a new IP-based wireless networking protocol, is a collaborative effort between Google’s Nest, and Samsung Electronics, ARM Holdings, Freescale Semiconductor, Silicon Labs, Big Ass Fans, and Yale Locks & Hardware.

According to David Jacoby of Kaspersky Labs, all of this activity around development appears to be “a land-grab in standards development, with multiple groups each hoping to set de facto standards.” At this point, standards are without question, an important piece of the IoT puzzle and the field is crowded with people working to build the “winning” standards.

What do you think about the current field of open standards developers? What standards would you like to see come out of this competitive space? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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