Organizations are Rallying Behind an Open Source Internet of Things

by Ostatic Staff - Oct. 28, 2014

If you've been reading about the Internet of Things (IoT) market, you may be noticing that it is picking up steam with powerful partnerships and big name companies launching initiatives. Red Hat put up an extensive post recently illustrating that it is very focused on the concept of networking objects of all types, and we've covered the backing that organizations ranging from The Linux Foundation to Microsoft are putting behind the IoT market.

The good news is that as the Internet of Things takes shape, its backbone is likely to be based on open source. 

As the Red Hat post notes, the Internet of Things has implications going far beyond just networking flower pots and devices at home:

"The truth is that the full range of possibilities created by the IoT continues to grow and is now being realized by enterprises across the world. The impact of these technologies are fundamentally revolutionizing the way enterprises do business and are allowing for advancements in productivity which compare with the advent of computing itself. Just imagine the transformation taking place on railways across the country. Where once a conductor manually applied the brakes when he saw a locomotive that was a little too close, rail companies are now operating with centralized systems that know the exact locations and actions of every locomotive in their network. Train speed is automatically adjusted to not only avoid collisions, but to optimize fuel consumption and improve overall efficiency, with the potential to drive an estimated $200m in profit for each 1 mph increase in average fleet speed."

In addition to Red Hat's efforts, The Linux Foundation's Allseen Alliance initiative is billed as "the broadest cross-industry consortium to date to advance adoption and innovation in the 'Internet of Everything' in homes and industry."

Premier level members of the alliance include Haier, LG Electronics, Panasonic, Qualcomm, Sharp, Silicon Image and TP-LINK. Community members include Canary, Cisco, D-Link, doubleTwist, Fon, Harman, HTC, Letv, LIFX, Lite-on, Moxtreme, Musaic, Sears Brand Management Corporation, Sproutling, The Sprosty Network, Weaved and Wilocity. The alliance also includes Microsoft, AT&T Digital Life, Affinegy, GOWEX, iControl Networks, Kii, Muzzley, Patavina Technologies, 2lemetry, Tuxera and Vestel Group, among others.

The Allseen Alliance already has several cool initiatives, including an effort to make lights smarter.

It's worth keeping in mind that the success of The Internet of Things depends on cross-industry collaboration from a wide range of partners, but it also depends on open source, as Linux Foundation chief Jim Zemlin has written:

"Open source is the ideal, neutral staging area for collaboration that can provide the interoperability layer needed to make the Internet of Everything a reality. When everyone jointly develops and uses the same freely available code, companies can develop innovative services on top of it and get them to market faster. This is why the majority of the consumer electronics industry, the high-performance computer industry, the world’s stock exchanges, Facebook, Google, Amazon, Twitter and every Android device rely on the Linux kernel.  Why would all them to try and produce non-differentiating infrastructure software that requires a development pace of 10,000 lines of code a day?"

 Gartner predicts that the Internet of Everything or the Internet of Things -- automatic communication and connectivity between a wide range of everyday devices, objects and applications – will infuse $1.9 trillion into the global economy by 2020. That's a tech revolution on par with some of the mobile market drivers of the past several years, and a trend worth watching.

You can keep up with the Allseen Alliance's blog here.