Apple...Google...AllSeen Alliance: Is the Internet of Things Getting Fragmented?
The Internet of Things (IoT) is big news this week, and many of the biggest tech companies and standards bodies have had related announcements. Earlier today, I covered the AllSeen Alliance's announcement of new security enhancements for its popular AllJoyn framework for Internet of Things devices and systems.
However, big tech companies have their own agendas for connecting devices, homes and systems everywhere.
AllSeen was formed in late 2013, and has emerged as a major player in aligning members' views of how the Internet of Things should take shape. There are now more than 120 million products built with AllJoyn in users' hands, according to AllSeen's leadership. Meanwhile, the Open Interconnect Consortium is actively setting standards and aligning efforts as well.
Many people have some level of familiarity with how the Internet of Things will make everyday devices and objects smarter, but it's also important to understand that it will also extend all kinds of devices toward the cloud and new types of networks. As these types of connections take place, some are voicing concerns about fragmentation.
The Weave platform from Google (developed by Nest) and Apple's HomeKit system are just a couple of the Internet of Things initiatives that won't necessarily align exactly with the work going on from the AllSeen Alliance and other players.
One thing is for sure: the Internet of Things will maximize its power and effect if devices and systems are easily compatible with each other and work in tandem. There is already much discussion of how policies should be set as the IoT evolves.
In our earlier interview with Philip DesAutels, who oversees the AllSeen Alliance, he said:
"We are building out an open source software project that delivers code that will help people build interoperable tools and devices. That is fundamental, and our software is downloadable today, and in production. There are many tools and devices that have AllJoyn today, and it helps ensure that everything works together.”
Indeed, as the Internet of Things evolves, one of the best hopes we can have for it is that it remains open, and open source software will be at the core of that effort.