Intel-originated IoT standards body, the Open Interconnect Consortium (OIC), is to acquire “substantially all of the assets” of smart home standards body, the UPnP Forum and will offer membership to UPnP Forum members, a move that it says will lead to increased alignment on IoT standards.
The OIC said there must be an accepted common standard in place to ensure that the expected billions of IoT devices are able to communicate and operate in the capacity they were designed for, and that its acquistion of the UPnP Forum represented its latest step towards ensuring interoperability.”
The OIC said it would form a new UPnP Work Group to maintain the UPnP specifications and certification tools within the overall OIC organisation, and would offer legacy UPnP certification for a fee to companies who choose not to join OIC.
The move should significantly boost the fortunes of the OIC, which, as IoTAustralia reported earlier — when IBM joined — got off to a shaky start in 2014. In October 2015 it announced that membership had passed the 100 mark. A complete list of members, led by diamond members, Cisco, Intel GE Software and Samsung is available here.
Cisco has just scored a coup on another aspect of IoT standardisation, with the formation of the Open Fog Consortium to develop standards around edge (aka fog) computing for IoT networks. Founding members are ARM, Cisco, Dell, Intel, Microsoft and Princeton University.
UPnP Forum pushing hard into IoT standards
The UPnP Forum was founded in 1999 and boasts more than 1000 member companies in: computing, printing and networking; consumer electronics; home appliances, automation, control and security; and mobile products.
The organisation has recently been ramping up its focus on IoT. At the IBC Exhibitor Show in September it unveiled “a new holistic set of live data models by means of a new web-based tool that automates the process of quickly adding new devices to a network, regardless of location.”
It said that this data modelling tool would significantly reduce fragmentation in the IoT marketplace by providing a seamless standardisation process that could be used by any organisation or company incorporating device discovery and control capability into any of their devices.”
Also, the Forum said its recently introduced UPnP+ initiative was “creating the building blocks for IoT implementations in a complete, integrated solution that would enable the next major phase of cross-platform device and network functionality.”
UPnP+ for the IoT is comprised of cloud capability, integration for content and services, and bridging to non-IP networks to enable a broad range of applications including IoT, health and fitness, energy management and home automation.
UPnP architecture is claimed to offer pervasive peer-to-peer network connectivity of PCs of all form factors, intelligent appliances, and wireless devices. It is described as “a distributed, open networking architecture that leverages TCP/IP and the Web to enable seamless proximity networking in addition to control and data transfer among networked devices in the home, office, and everywhere in between.” It enables data communication between any two devices under the command of any control device on the network and is independent of any particular operating system, programming language, or network technology.