AllSeen Alliance launched to speed uptake of Internet of Things

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In the Internet of Things, so-called ‘smart’ devices, meters and sensors will not only be able to automatically report on their status and receive instructions remotely, but also ‘talk’ to other, similarly smart devices, meters and sensors - and according to a new industry alliance, it’s technology from Qualcomm that will enable them to have those conversations.

The Linux Foundation, a not-for-profit industry group that oversees that development of the open-source operating system and other projects, has announced the launch of a new group, the AllSeen Alliance, which it describes as “the broadest cross-industry consortium to date to advance adoption and innovation in the ‘Internet of Everything’ in homes and industry.”

In other words, it’s a group of companies that believe that establishing and promoting industry standards is the ‘secret sauce’ that will get devices chatting to each other. Initial ‘premier level’ members of the AllSeen Alliance include Haier, LG Electronics, Panasonic, Qualcomm, Sharp, Silicon Image and TP-LINK.

Qualcomm is contributing the source code for its AllJoyn protocol to the Linux Foundation in the hopes that it will provide the basis for a much-needed industry standard. AllJoyn will be expanded with contributions from member companies and the voluntary efforts of the millions of developers that make up the open source community. The idea is that products, applications and services created with the AllJoyn open source project will be able to communicate over various transport layers, such as WiFi, Ethernet or power lines, regardless of manufacturer or operating system and without the need for Internet access. The initial codebase is already available on a new website.

“Open source software and collaborative development have been proven to accelerate technology innovation in markets where major transformation is underway,” said Jim Zemlin, executive director at The Linux Foundation.

“Nowhere is this more evident today than in the consumer, industrial and embedded industries where connected devices, systems and services are generating a new level of intelligence in the way we and our systems interact. The AllSeen Alliance represents an unprecedented opportunity to advance the Internet of Everything for both home and industry. We are very happy to host and help guide this work.”

That said, the AllSeen Alliance desperately needs the support of enterprise IT giants such as IBM, HP and Oracle in order to have a decent chance of success. Right now, say some, it’s overly dominated by consumer electronics firms, with Cisco the only enterprise technology heavy-hitter among its secondary, ‘community members’.

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