After a shaky start Intel-originated IoT standards body, the Open Interconnect Consortium (OIC) appears to be gathering momentum announcing eight new members, the most of significant of which is IBM. However, the OIC faces a rival IoT standardisation body backed by Microsoft, LG, Qualcomm and other big names.
The OIC was founded by Intel, Broadcom and Samsung in July 2014. However, Broadcom left shortly after the formation citing disagreements over the group’s policy on intellectual property rights. As GigaOM reported, in October, 2014, in the best Orwellian tradition, the OIC promptly removed from its web site the press release that had announced its formation and had named Broadcom as a founding member.
According to its web site, the OIC, a Delaware registered non-profit corporation was founded “with the goal of defining the connectivity requirements and ensuring interoperability of the billions of devices that will make up the emerging Internet of Things.” It says: “With this framework, technologies can wirelessly connect and intelligently manage the flow of information among devices, regardless of form factor, operating system or service provider.”
A comprehensive overview can be found in this presentation from David McCall, senior strategic planner, Wireless Innovations & Solutions at Intel.
In addition to IBM the new members are: INSIDE Secure, Kookmin University, Micosa, National Instruments, TA-I Technology Co, TelHoc and VU Security. They follow the addition of 25 new members announced in May. That batch included Honeywell International, Korea Advanced Institute of Science & Technology (KAIST) and China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT).
IoTivity: the OIC standardisation ploy
The OIC’s standardisation initiative is IoTivity, billed as “an open source software framework enabling seamless device-to- device connectivity to address the emerging needs of the Internet of Things.” It is being run as an OIC sponsored project within the Linux Foundation. Version 0.9.1 was released in June.
However, IoTivity faces stiff competition, in particular form the AllSeen Alliance Consortium’s AllJoyn. AllSeen’s ‘premier members’ are Cannon, Electrolux, Haier, LG, Microsoft, Panasonic, Qeo (a Technicolor subsidiary), Qualcomm, Sharp, Silicon Image and Sony. It boasts more than 120 members, including Australia’s iiNet. Commenting on the announcement of IoTivity 0.9.1, InformationWeek observed: “Complicating matters further are proprietary home automation frameworks, including Apple’s HomeKit and Belkin’s WeMo platforms”.