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Going up against Microsoft, Cisco, Qualcomm and their lot

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Intel, Dell, Samsung and Broadcom – among others – have founded a yet another group, dubbed the “Open Interconnect Consortium”, to promote standards that help development of the Internet of Things.

The new consortium says it “will seek to define a common communication framework based on industry standard technologies to wirelessly connect and intelligently manage the flow of information among devices, regardless of form factor, operating system or service provider.”

The group also says “It is our intention to create a specification and an open source project that will allow interoperability for all types of devices and operating systems.”

How will that be done? We've only the statement that “ Additional technical details will be announced at a later time” to go on for now.

The launch comes just six days after Microsoft pledged its troth to the Allseen Alliance, a group that says its aim is “To enable widespread adoption and help accelerate the development and evolution of an interoperable peer connectivity and communications framework based on AllJoyn for devices and applications in the Internet of Everything.”

Are the two groups different? The Open Interconnect Consortium (OIC) offers the following description of its differences with rivals:

“Today, there are multiple forums driving different approaches to solve the challenge of IoT connectivity and interoperability. Currently, we don’t see one single effort that addresses all the necessary requirements. The companies involved in OIC believe that secure and reliable device discovery and connectivity is a foundational capability to enable IoT. The companies also believe that a common, interoperable approach is essential, and that both a standard and open source implementation are the best route to enable scale.”

That statement seems a little odd as the Allseen Alliance's spiel says its “... members are collaborating on a universal software framework, based on AllJoyn open source code, that allows devices to autonomously discover and interact with nearby products regardless of their underlying proprietary technology or communications protocols.”

Can the OIC succeed? With just Intel (plus subsidiary Wind River), Dell, Samsung, Broadcom and Amtel aboard, it trails the Allseen Alliance's fifty members handily. That the latter outfit can boast Cicso as a community member, plus Microsoft, Haier, LG, Panasonic, Qualcomm, Sharp, Silicon Image, Technicolor and TP-Link as full members perhaps makes it a little more formidable.

It is early days for the Internet of Things, so it is possible that the two bodies decide they have have enough in common to collaborate. For now, that Microsoft has joined one body and Intel the other may raise eyebrows, although with precious little detail of either group's approach available it's hard to read anything into the two companies' decisions. ®

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