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Vendors develop open source framework for Internet of Things

Vodafone puts faith in machines

A collaboration of industry vendors took form on Tuesday with the inauguration of a consortium focused on improving interoperability and defining connectivity requirements for the billions of devices that will make up the Internet of Things (IoT).

The Open Interconnect Consortium (OIC) claims to be focused on defining a common communications framework based on industry standard technologies to wirelessly connect and intelligently manage the flow of information among emerging IoT devices, regardless of form factor, operating system or service provider.

Atmel, Broadcom, Dell, Intel, Samsung and Wind River are the founding members setting out to ensure that OIC specifications and open source implementations will help companies design products that intelligently, reliably and securely manage and exchange information under changing conditions, power and bandwidth, and even without an internet connection.

The foundation code developed by the OIC will be open source, the organisation said, initially targeting the specific requirements of smart home and office solutions. For example, the specifications could make it simple to remotely control and receive notifications from smart home appliances or enterprise devices using securely provisioned smartphones, tablets or PCs. A real world example might include the ability to remotely control household systems to save money and conserve energy or to allow enterprise users to securely collaborate while interacting with screens and other devices in a meeting room.

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“The rise and ultimate success of the Internet of Things depends on the ability for devices and systems to securely and reliably interconnect and share information,” said Doug Fisher, Intel corporate vice president and general manager of the Software and Services Group. “This requires common frameworks, based on truly open, industry standards. Our goal in founding this new consortium is to solve the challenge of interoperable connectivity for the Internet of Things without tying the ecosystem to one company’s solution.”

Coincidentally, Intel on Wednesday also opened its fourth innovation centre for Internet of Things development in the European, Middle East and African Region in Swindon, UK. The IoT Ignition Labs Swindon joins similar labs now open in Turkey, Germany and Sweden and is a place where customers can collaborate with Intel on end to end solutions by testing hardware and building analytics tools. The main theme for Intel’s four innovation centres is smart sustainable cities and the UK operation will work specifically to address solutions needed in smart buildings, retail, and transport.

Under the broad reaching scope of the Internet of Things, analysts at Ovum forecast M2M connections are set to grow rapidly over the next few years at a CAGR of 23 per cent, with the most important industry verticals expected to be healthcare, manufacturing, and energy & utilities, which are forecast to generate revenues of US$7.9bn, US$7.1bn, and US$7bn respectively by 2018.

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