The AllSeen Alliance’s Philip DesAutels on the Internet of Things

by Ostatic Staff - Feb. 09, 2015

As the Internet of Things (IoT) gains momentum, there is a need for collaboration, open and interoperable tools, and governance. 

As the AllSeen Alliance’s senior director of IoT, Philip DesAutels (shown) works with Alliance members to advance the Internet of Everything by building out an open source software framework, AllJoyn, to seamlessly connect a range of objects and devices in homes, cars and businesses. He oversees and guides all aspects of the Alliance, from governance and technology, to the developer community and marketing efforts.

As part of our ongoing series of talks with technology influencers, OStatic caught up with Philip for a talk about the Internet of Things. Here are his thoughts.

The AllSeen Alliance is very focused on the AllJoyn framework, which has already found its way into devices and applications. “We are building out an open source software project that delivers code that will help people build interoperable tools and devices,” said DesAutels. “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.”

DesAutels emphasized that the AllSeen Alliance is building out its software framework with protocols that make it more and more robust. The Alliance strongly concentrates on interoperability with networks, and is focused on interoperability with the cloud.

“We ask how to work with networks and their components and try to figure out how to connect them to the rest of the world,” said DesAutels. “We can add security and privacy control to your local network and help control inbound and outbound connections to that network. Security and privacy go together, too. You need security to get privacy.”

“Our Gateway project is all about providing remote access and remote management,” he added. “It helps people connect to and manage AllJoyn-enabled devices and applications from external networks or cloud-based services.”

At the recent CES show, a number of IoT products were shown. Why are we seeing the Internet of Things finally producing real, affordable products that actually work together after years of hype about the topic?

“In one of my rooms at my house I have a thermostat that is about 14 years old,” said DesAutels. “Back in the day it cost $400, and was one of the first smart thermostats. It was insanely expensive for its day. Now, even if it had gotten cheaper, why didn’t that take off?”

“Today I can go to Home Depot and get a smart connected thermostat from Honeywell that is incredibly functional, with remote access, and it doesn’t cost much,” he said. “I think one of the biggest reasons why we’re seeing all this smart connectivity start to work and become cost-effective is the ubiquity of networks and bandwidth all around us.  There also has been evolution in our understanding of what users want. We know a lot more about the use cases that people want.”

“Tell me when the wash is done even if I don’t hear the alarm,” he said. “Tell me what song is playing on TV, let me know who is calling me on the phone on my TV. If you’re a leak under my sink, notify me and shut the water off.”

Where might the Internet of Things head in the next five years and beyond? DesAutels also provided good insight on that topic.

“In five years, I think all of this will be around us everywhere, in everything,” he said. “Predictions that were made three and four years ago have already come true in terms of the ubiquity of bandwidth, connectivity, the availability of radios, and more. We are going to have a lot of power to orchestrate the experiences that we want.”

“The next phase is going to be the really transformational phase,” DesAutels noted. “Systems around you will have a whole lot more information. They’ll be able to deliver a lot more value.”

For more in OStatic’s running series of interviews with project leaders working on the cloud, Big Data, and the Internet of Things, see our talks with Rich Wolski who founded the Eucalyptus cloud project, Ben Hindman from Mesosphere, Tomer Shiran of the Apache Drill project, and co-founder of Mirantis Boris Renski.